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5 Update
Our in-house appliance and home
Kitchen Planning
& Buying Guide

18 Bold in Black and White
Get an inside look at design star Vern Yip’s
own Atlanta kitchen, a study in the chic,
timeless combo of black and white.
30 Instant Makeover
No need for a total overhaul. Replacing
or adding a few key design elements can give
your kitchen a fresh new look right now.
experts share the latest and
greatest kitchen products, news, 22 Cozy in Color 36 Open for Entertaining

and trends. Our paint picks will help you add warmth Create a kitchen with a party-perfect flow
and personality to kitchen walls, cabinets, with tips from a pair of design experts.
12 8 Smart Kitchen Upgrades or furnishings.
As you renovate your space, make 42 Remodeling
choices that add long-term value—with 26 Double the Pleasure Survival Guide
help from our exclusive survey of millennial This clever remodel added tons of space Our survey of contractors nationwide will
homebuyers, plus advice from the pros. without an addition. help your project run smoothly. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 1

org Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE .ORG AND CLICK ON APPLIANCES OR HOME & GARDEN 2 ConsumerReports. Contents BUYING GUIDE Cabinetry & Surfaces 48 CABINETS 54 60 66 COUNTERTOPS FLOORING INTERIOR PAINT 100 Appliances 72 REFRIGERATORS 88 RANGES 98 COOKTOPS 106 WALL OVENS 110 RANGE HOODS 112 MICROWAVE OVENS 120 DISHWASHERS Fixtures & Fittings 128 SINKS 132 FAUCETS Shopping 134 BEST APPLIANCE STORES 136 RESOURCE GUIDE 89 114 GO TO CONSUMERREPORTS. All rights reserved. 40 Consumer Ginny Lui. Content the 600-plus products in our Ratings to help you choose the Gwendolyn Bounds best. Photography John Powers. New York 10703. Ewelina Mrowiec. Emilio Gonzalez. James Nanni. Kendra Johnson. Content Development Glenn Derene Meet a Few of Our Experts Director. Director Content Operations David Fox. Bernard Deitrick. Pat Slaven. Home Publications Amanda Lecky Art Directors Janice Hogan. Celia Kuperszmid Ed Perratore Kimberly Janeway and editors Lehrman Senior Editor Senior Associate Production Eric W. William Breglio. John McAloon. Associate Director FOLLOW US PHOTOS: JOHN WALSH Copyright © 2016 by Consumer Reports. Adam Kaplan testers. Teneisha Thomas. fb. Andrew Vogel Newsstand Marketing Patricia McSorley. Peter Anzalone. Chris Holmes. Product Testing Mark Connelly Director. Michael Visconti Reports product Consumer Engagement Testing Charu Ahuja. Christopher Regan. Kimberly Janeway. Senior Director. Consumer Reports Magazine Diane Salvatore which brands are likely to last—and which could lead to pricey Design Director Matthew Lenning Associate Design Director Mike Smith repairs. Integrated Content Creation Liam McCormack Kitchen Planning & Buying Guide comes in. Aileen McCluskey Content Coordination Nancy Crowfoot. Consumer Safety and Sustainability Urvashi Rangan Home & Appliance Editors: Dan DiClerico. Lisa Slater Ready to make your dreams a reality? Let our honest. Wendy Greenield six pros pictured Fact Checking Jane Healey. Sharon Riley years of know- Administration Decarris Bryant. Kathleen Adams. Alison France. Debra Kalensky. Keith Newsom-Stewart. Anthony Terzo researchers. John Walsh Imaging Francisco Collado. Associate Director Procurement Operations Steven Schiavone. pinterest. Publishing & Marketing Operations Home mean you don’t want to save where you can. David Trezza. David Schipper. New York 10703. Director. Brand & Strategy Leonora Wiener Amanda Lecky anywhere near that much. fb. Our engineers run exhaustive tests on every aspect of Executive Director. Tara Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 3 .000 each year to buy the appliances we test and rate. Vice President. Photo Editor Emilie Harjes unbiased advice help you plan and shop your way to a smart. including the right of reproduction in whole youtube. and for your budget. Product Testers: John Galeotaiore. Director. Of President and CEO Marta L. Content Specialist Leader Olufemi Olu-Lafe. Statistics Michael Saccucci. Simon Slater. you can always trust Consumer Reports to tell it like it or in part in any form. Our reader surveys track buyer experience to tell you Editor in Chief. Karen Jafe. More than Enrique de Paz. We know: Consumer Reports spends more than $400. Rachel Lynch. secret shoppers. Director. Edward Kippel. Diane Chesler (including the Deputy Editor Editor Copy Editing Noreen Browne. Digital We ofer what no other magazine can: product Ratings and Jason Fox advice from dozens of appliance and home-improvement Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Kim Miller experts. Joseph Pacella. Terri Kazin. Susan Booth. Elizabeth Scotton how to work Content Impact & Corporate Outreach Jen Shecter. Yonkers. Testing Leads. Cindy Fisher. Director. @consumerreports @crenespanol Periscope @consumerreports ISSN: 2376-0508 Manufactured in the United States of America. Adam Troy Consumer Insight Ed Farrell. Content Systems & Operations Strategy Peter Meirs. Wayne Lizardi. Andrew Cohen. Director. Ed Perratore. here) put their Sarah Goralski. Multimedia Test Program Project Leader Mei Fong. Mark Linder stylish kitchen that’s just right for you. John @consumerreports Published by Consumer Reports. Norlander. but that doesn’t Editor. Tellado course. Director for you. Tracy Anderman. Brent Diamond Publications That’s where the Consumer Reports Vice President. Karen Hofman. Vice President. Linda Greene. Martin Romm Dan DiClerico Tara Casaregola Joe Pacella Survey Research Steven Witten. your own project probably won’t cost Senior Vice President. Lawrence Ciufo. Mary Farrell. Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman. Peter Sawchuk. Yonkers. Martin Lachter. EDITOR’S NOTE Dreams. Frank Spinelli. And because we buy everything we test and accept no ads. James David Snapchat @consumerreports ConsumerReports. Joan Muratore. Delivered KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE CREATING YOUR DREAM KITCHEN can cost a bundle.

and are a nonprofit organization. We may have an obvious defect repaired. size. more or less— that we test the same products and evaluating the color uniformity when they’re done tells CR’s experts how evenly you buy. that matter to you. and Ratings. freezer performance. preformed sugar cookies each year. Each For complete Ratings for all products. and price. DISHWASHERS Our testers load up the racks REFRIGERATORS Engineers load each refrigera- with dishes smeared with everything from coffee tor’s freezer compartment with packages of frozen (shown) to beef chili to see how well each model spinach and cans of frozen juice to determine stands up to typical food messes. Guide to the Ratings TIP WE RATE PRODUCTS on a 5Excellent 4Very Good 3Good 2Fair 1Poor When narrowing your 100-point scale. N. Consumer Reports is the world’s experiences.000 frozen. For of our tough tests. What We Do We buy all of the mainly through subscriptions and largest independent consumer. And we usually buy and test additional samples of the same product. . What happens to all those cookies? The staff gets to eat most of them! tests that re-create the real-world use of each product. manufacturers. we get our money promotional purposes. 4 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Staf shoppers buy them at retail outlets or online. never reveal- ing that they’re for Consumer Reports. weigh perfor- help you tell at a glance which These are high-performing products that stand out. Poor indicates These products offer the best combination of performance the best combination the product had serious laws. of performance and price. such Those rated Excellent aced most c CR Best Buy as color. pick a CR Best Buy. products we rate. are free test samples of products from year we put thousands of products consider an annual subscription to unbiased and independent. Inside Our Test Labs WE TRY TO TEST models that represent the spectrum of products on the market. any advertising. All are recommended. in print and online. price. And we don’t allow our through rigorous tests and survey Consumer Reports magazine ($29) or What We Don’t Do We don’t accept name or our content to be used for any millions of consumers about their our website ($30). We’re based in Yonkers. we try to determine whether we’re seeing an isolated case or possibly a bigger problem. or style. (We want to make sure OVENS Baking cookies—2. If a product malfunctions or performs in an unexpected way. These symbols d Recommended choices..Y.) Our experts develop an oven bakes. and details scored well and which didn’t. We don’t accept any product-testing organization. We do that to ensure that our Rat- ings for every model relect the experience you may have. And all of our tests from donations.

Cooker. urbanites. as there are homes with families. $30 to $40. 20 percent smaller and shifting demographics and responding 25 percent lighter than its full-sized with a bevy of super-compact countertop counterpart—a perennial top-performer appliances. aimed at the single set and their in our Ratings—the Mi Aroma Mini Rice presumably smaller kitchens. which cooks just two turer’s representative went so far as to call or three cups at a time.5 Slow Cooker. will be as many single-person households in Among the promising petite models the U. ConsumerReports. not to mention in the U. and the Bella the mini appliances part of their “single lady 1. Manufacturers are taking note of those $400. too. line.Update Product News and Expert Advice Actual size Big Performance in Small Packages AMERICAN HOUSES may be growing in size. $ Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 5 . Roughly half of all American downsizing empty nesters. women are unattached.” Though of course the products will but so is the number of single households appeal to bachelors. and by 2025 there or anyone eager to save countertop space. One manufac. available this fall.S.S. pictured. are KitchenAid’s Artisan Mini Stand Mixer.

The additional grating disk 13 combinations of spiralizing. this new spiralizer Cuisinart says the adaptation continuous ribbons or spirals of a is an upgrade to the brand’s origi. You can chips. enabling up to when it turns on. GETTY IMAGES (TOP RIGHT). of its exclusive food processor variety of veggies. and to parents of kids who need a little extra ers that don’t stand out encouragement to get their daily doses of healthful produce. $150 360 degrees of high- fidelity sound. UPDATE | news and adv ice MUSIC TO A New Way to Prep Veggies ONE OF THE HOTTEST new gadgets at this year’s International Home + Housewares show in YOUR EYES The right soundtrack can make dining (and cook- Chicago. Or enjoy garnishes unit is dishwasher . $30 3-IN-1 SPIRALIZER. Part of Sony’s New Life Space UX prod- uct line. The $800 This mechanical model gives the This electric 3-in-1 spiralizer from An attachment to any KitchenAid device. power- makes for easy operation. is designed for harder foods like slicing. the speaker uses organic glass surrounding an LED light to create CUISINART FOOD HAMILTON BEACH KITCHENAID SPIRALIZER vibrations that produce SPIRALIZER. 6 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. peeling. it’s designed to look like part of an everyday table setting. soft choose from thin or thick julienne. Sony’s new Glass Sound Speaker aims to match style to sound quality: With its cylindrical shape and faux leather base. from zucchini nal. and installing an integrated sound system is pricey. which is available forearm a bit of a workout. can take the place of traditional grain-based pasta. including “noodles” that ing) far more enjoyable. zucchini noodle strands are pitched the power goes off. The blade-lock. Parmesan cheese and nuts. Three models that caught our eye: from your carefully con- sidered kitchen design like a sore thumb. or those who entertain at home a lot. spiralizers turn vegetables and fruits into fun new shapes. That should appeal to people on low-carb But it’s hard to find speak- PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN BRIDGWATER/GETTY IMAGES (TOP LEFT). ROBERT RADIFERA (BOTTOM RIGHT) diets. made from paper-thin fruit spirals. though Hamilton Beach lets you produce stand mixer. ing up with a warm. The glow and dimming when and ribbon slice. and coring. through the MoMA store. It adds two new blades to lights up like a candle blade technology to the spiralizer noodles to homemade potato the existing five. $40 BLADE. ing design eliminates contact with as a healthy alternative to flour- any sharp edges and the entire based pasta.

and pigments. Appliance manufacturers are taking notice. citrus. because it’s just that—a synthetic material that’s made in a factory out of stone chips. a standard wall oven cavity. resins. Because it’s non-porous. or from the supermarket. by comparison. thin firebrick inserts. but quartzite is often compared to granite not only sounds in terms of hardness and durability. and backsplashes. But That’s a good thing. baking temperatures in 15 to 30 minutes.400. If you’d rather keep your oven on the patio. be stains. in the form of frozen pies. and other would- as well.900. to develop unique appliances for small batch produc. coffee. sealed periodically to protect it against wine. quartzite must be like quartz but can look similar. that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement it costs a lot less. of Pizza Operators TREND WATCH: Quartz and Quartzite LATELY. as WHICH IS IT? well as tiles for floors. The Fontana Gusto Wood Oven. Lynx Napoli Pizza Oven creation to date). The DIY trend accounted for nearly 10 percent of pizza Outdoor Options sales in 2015. Quartz.If Your Favorite Slice is Pizza Most Americans get their pizza fresh from the pizzeria so no special installation or construction is required. yet is spacious enough to fit is still the best seller. IT SEEMS like every designer we interview mentions one of two countertops options: quartz and quartzite. which came out of FirstBuild. Fontana ovens can reach optimal the perfect temperature for crisp pizza. GE Monogram Pizza Oven or “semi-scratch” using store-bought dough—at home. The oven reaches 750 degrees in microfactory in the company’s Louisville headquarters about 20 minutes so it’s a bit faster than GE’s. If you’re looking for the authenticity of wood-fired pizza. one to consid- with several introducing pizza ovens this year. It’s extracted from a quarry and formed into finished slabs that become kitchen countertops. though it’s still a splurge. walls. wood-fired ovens. Fontana Gusto Wood Oven AMERICAN AS PIZZA PIE | Americans eat 100 acres of pizza each day according to the National Assn. quartz doesn’t have to be sealed. tion (the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is the most successful the Italian manufacturer Fontana offers stainless steel ov. two materials that sound similar and can look similar—but which have some key distinctions. Look for it later this year. making it much easier to maintain. The oven incorporates a compact the 2 to 4 hours of other interior ventilation Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 7 . Quartzite. er is the Lynx Napoli Pizza Oven.000. ens for as little as $1. in about 30 min. Thanks to their a pizza peel and large pie. compared with utes. shown. Like all natural stones. used to be known as engineered stone. At $4. Quartz and quartzite cost about the same. starting at $4.900. or that can be built into an Monogram Pizza Oven. since the price tag on the oven is there's a growing appetite for pizza made from scratch— $9. Quartzite. The Monogram Pizza Oven fits into the small space of its original dual-chamber model introduced 40 years ago. It can crank up to 750 degrees. is a metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. the top- rated material in our countertops ratings on page 59. a gas-fired model that The most innovative product we’ve seen is GE’s comes on a freestanding cart. ConsumerReports. a outdoor countertop. We haven’t tested it in our labs.

watery drink. All drink. Fans say that cold with sales rising 115 percent between either iced coffee or the bottled coffee brewing makes for a far smoother PHOTO. without much of the bitterness now sell it by the cup in their shops. Starbucks and Peet’s products sold at the supermarket. What comes out of most cold-brew coffee makers isn’t ready to enjoy. many coffee weeks. they’re essentially steeping chambers for the water and grounds. The fans claim it’s smoother machines also make it easier to experi- than the traditional stuff. and even To mask that bitterness. specialty grocers. ment with the ratio of water to coffee Judge for yourself with until you find the one that produces the our tested brewers. THE BITTER TRUTH Why bother with all of the added time O ONCE FOUND ONLY in boutique coffee. begins with the same beans you’d use for regular coffee. Regularly brewed coffee doesn’t some Target stores. keep in the refrigerator for up to two Foods. we’ve tested have as much sugar as a when you want a cool pick-me-up. cold-brew coffee has grown up. PRICE OF A PICK-ME-UP | DIY Home Brew $0. But they make preparing and filtering the coffee Cold-brew coffee neater and less cumbersome. drinkers (and manufacturers) add heaps store well in the fridge and starts to go several appliance makers eager to cash of sugar and glugs of milk or cream— stale shortly after it’s made because of in on the trend sell low-tech systems and plenty of calories with them. just minus the heat.75 to $2. but they’re ground more coarsely. on the other hand. a reg- istered dietitian and manager of food testing at Consumer Reports. It’s a thick concentrate that you dilute with water or milk before drinking. To avoid a weak. Not surprisingly. cold-brew coffee also requires at least twice the grounds needed for traditional hot brewing. whether you buy it at a coffee- Cold house or supermarket or whip up a batch at home. cup best-suited to your tastes.) Make no mistake: Do-it-yourself cold- Coffee Is Hot brew coffee makers aren’t a necessity.” on the facing page.50 Price depends on cost per pound of coffee 8 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. COLD BREW 101 and expense of cold brew? Because of houses. creating a drink that Another selling point of cold-brew versions from companies such as has all of the bitterness and acidity of coffee is its extended shelf life: It will Stumptown and Slingshot at Whole regular coffee. LEFT: NATASHA NICHOLSON/GETTY IMAGES 2014 and 2015. which explains why cold brew can be pricey. then mixed with cold or room-temperature water and left to sit for a very long time: Coaxing flavor out of the grounds with cool water can take 12 to 24 hours or even longer. (See “Cool Ways to Make Cold Joe. Cold brew is a very different beast from how it goes down.” says Maxine Siegel. and you can buy ready-to-drink bottled that’s then chilled. UPDATE | news and adv ice can of . an aromatic compound that degrades that take the mess out of mixing up “Some of the bottled coffee products as it cools—something to keep in mind a batch of cold brew at home. of those start with standard hot coffee and acidity of traditional coffee. Cold brew.

Pros The brewing cham. per. a regular cup of joe starts with hot The absence of hot water means that the oils. by 3 inches. To release coffee drop of water per second “brew-release switch. and water (between 195° F and 205° F) and coffee grounds.) from the stand. badly during our tests. the is unbreakable plastic. and at easily into the fridge. concentrated brew drip oughly. The brew chamber its permanent fine filter trate are included. pair) after about 10 uses. then back. which yields Pros At 15 inches high. ensures no gunk at the Pros The fastest per 7 inches tall. ready to drink. creating coffee’s bitter notes. it lets you You place ice and water in a glass carafe beneath Once you attach the steeped. timer will help you keep 48 ounces. and the length of time the grounds steep. and (Instructions for concen. lower container.25 to $3. The water VS.95 National range ConsumerReports. It comes in Removing the stopper sorry: This unit and the Cons Makes among the Cons The lid doesn’t seal. making for a much smoother beverage. less steel chamber atop process is flow-through. extract fills the glass through the filter into the drips to the grounds. is flimsy. The acids also dissolves oils. it fits coffee. These machines make the process convenient. free giving coffee its familiar acidity and eye-opening aroma. and a the stand and flip the upper half. place half). Permanent filter. filter basket (in the lower holds a filter and a stop. THE SCIENCE OF SMOOTH Standard Hot Coffee Cold-Brew Coffee As any caffeine addict knows. black and five colors. hands clear of the brew. After coffee has a glass carafe. Cool Ways to Make Cold Joe The lavor of cold-brew cofee is determined by the quality of the beans and the water. two 16-ounce travel cups. flip the product stopper and the filtered coffee. then add water. the amount and grind of cofee used. twice that much drinkable it fits into the fridge. but unlike with hot brewing. track of steeping time. An optional hour Pros It makes about parts of the top chamber. you remove the make cold-brew or hot the upper chamber. Stumptown Cold-Brew Coffee $8 | Starbucks Cold Brew $3.75 per brew of the five—roughly coffee per use.” on upside Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 9 . BRUER COLD OXO COLD BREW BODYBREW TODDY COLD BREW FELLOW DUO BRUER $80 1272880 $50 THE BOD $80 SYSTEM $40 COFFEE STEEPER $100 How it works The Bruer How it works Place the How it works Add How it works The upper stands out from the others container on its stand. aren’t degraded. which lets the to wet the grounds thor. yielding into the carafe. acids. The be replaced with a cover wraps around the upper Cons If you’d like to fill coffee to drain once it’s release switch keeps to reduce the height chamber. the filter Bruer make the least cold least amount of drinkable and the filter clogged Cons It can be tricky to needs replacing ($3. about 20 ounces. The the bottom. ounce. After 12 to 24 hours. other compounds dissolve much more slowly. which bottom of your cup. The hot of bitterness. it fits easily top chamber can also Cons The handle. One downside: This coffee’s aroma is barely water also degrades acids. acids. and other compounds out of the grounds. can be messy. with no waiting for into the fridge. ber can be separated Pros At 12½ inches. collects below. you twist the two extract. 20 ounces at a time. brewed. and grounds to the stainless chamber’s lower recess How it works A stain- we looked at because its add grounds and water. carafe. they do not inluence the cofee’s taste. assemble. noticeable because heat is what releases it from the grounds.

$20 must remove your faucet’s aerator and connect the attached hose buy a filter? its Safe Drinking Water Hotline directly to your faucet. they expect shortages in some part of their state over the next decade. bacteria. ed in 1986 or if you use well water. our top picks were fore lead-free pipes were mandat. Consumer Reports’ medi. and the water that entails. by composting your food scraps. you should check your safer to drink. Bonus: water bottle per person per day so They’re quieter. That’s according to WaterSense. you Should I free test kits. that you only have to wash it once. 15 percent more water efficient Keep your drinking water in the than standard models. lead or many other contaminants. Too many people rinse their dishes before putting them in a dishwasher designed to do that very job—and do it better than you can. which will make the most of the Energy Star dishwashers are about sprays in your machine. When it comes to wasting water in the kitchen. SAVE WATER | An Energy Star dishwasher will save about 1. the Clear2O carafe. and the Flint. says Chris as arsenic. Water managers in 40 states say that even if water conditions remain normal. The Environmental carafe. There’s no After hearing Protection Agency posts municipal universally accepted safe level for water-quality reports every July. If tests find lead from taps in Flint and other cities but it’s below 150 parts per billion can be alarming. Five ways to save: Replace your old dishwasher. to less than 1 gallon per minute.” as a state water authority put it. $30. Give pots and pans a soak instead Install a WaterSense aerator on of scrubbing them under running the kitchen faucet to reduce flow water to loosen caked-on food. Designate one during a normal cycle. water filters. you can also call Culligan FM-15A. Both were top rated for home’s water quality. To fill the Clear2O. faucet-mounted Culligan FM-15A. the dishwasher isn’t the culprit. $30 partment for advice. For maximum efficiency. such have your water tested.600 gallons over its lifetime according to the EPA Reports of unsafe water pouring at 800-426-4791. In our most recent tests of the water in But if your home was built be. the water conservation partner of the Environmental Protection Agency. Wash only full loads of dishes. a filter can make your water panic. If it’s higher or if municipal water report and also tests reveal other concerns. about lead in find yours at epa. Mich. contact your local health de- Clear2O cal researcher. UPDATE | news and adv ice Save Water in the Kitchen California isn’t the only place facing a dry spell.. Hendel. The EPA’s website lists local labs. It’s a cheap fix for only pennies. 10 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. I’m worried a test is the best way to assess your $20. too. it’s probably you. or parasites. But before you (ppb). load Avoid running the garbage dis- your dishwasher according to the . Your state or removing lead and other con- about mine. instructions in your owner’s manual. That means we all could benefit from California’s efforts to get “more pop per drop. The most refrigerator instead of running the miserly use only 4 to 6 gallons tap until it’s cool. local health department may offer taminants.

Just avoid selecting silverware. eco+ 6¢ per load 21¢ per load Powder 19¢ per load ConsumerReports. I hate hand- washing dishes. Cascade Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean Finish Complete ActionPacs Dishwasher Pacs Quantum Max Powerball ers. Although most 29¢ per load (Sam’s Club) 10¢ per load 41¢ per load food-storage containers are no longer made with BPA. BPA has been linked to health concerns including Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 11 . If you’ve already rinsed off much of the ing can make your dishes come out dirtier. says Urvashi d RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS Rangan. it rinses the dishes. So the appliance gives them Yes. Ph. muck. just a light wash. The reason is that most dish. don’t that use higher washing five years or so have a sensor that determines rinse. And it can cause worrisome chemicals such BPA (bisphenol A) to leach from some types of plastic contain. Con- sumer Reports’ director of safety and sustain- ability. but prerins. and items come out less than cycles such as “sanitize” washers costing $500 or more sold in the past sparkling. how thorough a wash is needed. Heat can cause plastic to degrade.D. just scrape off loose food. and ready fairly clean. pots. it could be because you’re rinsing them amount of time and water to get everything first. too. Containers may also have other chemi- cals such as plasticizers and phthalates that can leach. It seems counterintuitive. the sensor misreads the dishes as al- not cleaner. And use one or drying temperatures. older plasticware may contain it. To avoid that lackluster result. At the start of the detergents that topped our tests. TOP RIGHT: YUKI KONDO/GETTY IMAGES cardiovascular disease Cascade Platinum and an increased risk of Finish ActionPacs with the Power Finish Powerball Tabs 18¢ per load of Clorox 34¢ per load Gelpacs 21¢ per load breast and prostate can- cers.. Can I put plasticware in the dish- The Dirt on Clean Dishes If you wonder why dishes come out of your of the cycle. clean. then checks dishwasher with bits of food still stuck to how dirty the water is to determine the proper washer? them.” and wash on the Palmolive Cascade Complete Powder Seventh Generation top rack only. Use plasticware that says “dishwasher safe. That goes for glasses.

Stainless steel appliances and up- dated surfaces and floorings create a look that says: “brand new.” 12 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. IDEA FILE | 8 smart kitchen upg rades ATTRACTIVE FEATURES An open layout with easy flow from the kitchen to entertaining areas and an island is a highly desirable kitchen attribute. according to our .

cuts. and it requires none of the upkeep of comparably priced natural stones. contemporary finish on appli- ances signals “updated” in the mind of the buyer. informed by Consumer Reports’ nationally representative survey of 1. For as little as $5. quartz has started to chal- lenge granite and marble as the go-to material in higher-end kitchens. ConsumerReports. It shrugged off heat.  MAKE IT 1 LOOK NEW Buyers of all kinds have long focused on the kitchen. as well as a new countertop and looring. resins. and the house you imagined growing old in could suddenly be just one stop on the path of life. Though it has been around for decades. but it holds particular sway over the newest wave of irst-time home- owners. a smaller investment can have serious impact. Here are eight ways. Quartz countertops. and stains in our tests. and pigments. VALUABLE ADDITIONS Stainless steel.000 you should be able to add a new suite of appliances. Situations change. don’t rip your kitchen down to the studs. scratches. A “modern/updated” kitchen topped the list of ideal home features in our survey of millennials.573 millennials. registering as most important to more than one-third of respondents. can work wonders. 8 Smart Kitchen Upgrades Making the right remodeling decisions will help you get a kitchen that fits your needs now and boosts your home’s value later UNLESS YOU’RE PLANNING to move in the next couple of years. and up- dating the hardware. you’re probably not factoring resale into your kitchen update plans—but you should. If you plan to Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 13 . Engineered from stone chips. this clean. to improve your kitchen and your home’s value. Applying a coat of paint to the walls or cabinets.

you PHOTO. can always switch out the units in the rest of the house later on. “My millennial buyers usually ask for two years’ LED lights. referring to two impor. A major interest. add an family room.” says Joe .5W LED. So if you’re consider. to the kitchen designers we’ve interviewed. “They want to know the R-Value on LED lighting.050 each. IDEA FILE | 8 smart kitchen upg rades 2 OPEN UP THE PLAN An “open loor plan with lexible living space” was VALUABLE ADDITIONS second only to an updated kitchen on millennials’ list of most desired features. Some listings empha- worth of utility payments. That will be a selling that would most inluence a purchase decision. you can take as an additional living area that can the plunge. Choose the Feit the insulation and whether the windows have Electric 60 Watt Replacement low-E coatings.000 for an en- tire house—so you probably won’t Older homeowners who have felt the sting recoup the entire investment if of escalating energy costs tend to be driving the you plan to sell right away. 14 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. according room or playroom. N. 1 most requested feature. PREVIOUS SPREAD: JANE BEILES of the country with more extreme weather.. But there are some early adopters kitchen renovation is a good time among younger buyers. too.000 to $24. but younger buyers in particular say they want a dedicated laundry room. perhaps off the kitchen. It’s not part of the kitchen. though replacing according to a 2015 survey by the National windows is expensive—anywhere Association of Home Builders. BOSCH 3 BUILD IN ENERGY SAVINGS Lowering your home’s energy costs will save VALUABLE ADDITIONS you money for as long as you live there and is expected to be a major selling point down High-efficiency windows. Man- ufacturers are obliging with washer/ dryer sets with a matching fit and finish that neatly integrates into the living space.” he says. by mentioning the presence of area. 23-year life expectancy. Indeed. per se. “energy-eicient” was second your home’s energy bills by 7 to only to “safe community” on the list of attributes 15 percent. Dedicated laundry room. 9. feeling conident that the additional serve a variety of purposes. $1. a $7 bulb that delivers superb light quality and has a tant efficiency measures. consider making sure it can do double duty as a guest island. point with buyers. We like the Maytag Bravos MVWB85DW HE top-loader and Maytag Bravos MEDB855DW electric dryer. While you’re at it. you’ll see these advertised an adjacent living or dining area. Multipurpose spaces. Energy Star certified windows can lower the line.Y. size their “green” credentials a real estate professional in the Buffalo. plans include updating an adjacent pealing to future buyers. If your expense will probably make your home more ap. Also known as flex rooms or double-duty ing removing a wall to connect your kitchen to rooms. the No. especially in regions to update the kitchen windows. from $8.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS Choosing easy-care materials like quartz countertops and wood or porcelain tile floors will make your life easier now. mak- Miguel Berger. Long-wearing hardwood flooring with a durable factory finish is an easy-care alternative to ceramic tile or linoleum. tends not to wear as well as the solid stuff. “We call it stress-free living. which PHOTO. ing it a good choice if you plan to sell soon. N. Engineered wood flooring.” says though it has the same look and tends to cost less. and grime-catching ceramic tile used to be symbols uses a thin veneer of real wood or bamboo over structural of luxury. whether you plan to stay or move.” It’s safe to assume boomers feel the same way. VALUABLE ADDITIONS 4 THINK ‘LOW- MAINTENANCE’ Stain-prone stone countertops. ConsumerReports. TOP RIGHT: JANE BEILES nets. a real estate professional in Albany. Choosing energy-saving appliances and lighting is another smart decision. dust-collecting ornate cabi- Hardwood floors.Y. but today’s homebuyers are more likely to equate plywood. them with extra work. “The younger generation in particular would much rather spend their time entertaining at home than fussing over it. and may appeal to busy prospective Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 15 .

eliminating the need to bend down to move heavy dishes in and out of a range. Proactive homeown- ers are making necessary improve- ments now—and those changes will beneit people of all ages. PHOTOS: JANE BEILES (TOP LEFT AND TOP RIGHT). the irst places you paint. allowing them to envision the space as their own. a real estate professional based in Westchester County. and security systems.” trend and style director at Lowe’s. VALUABLE ADDITIONS Wall oven and cooktop combo. smart devices add value and .000 or so. and slippery surfaces. door locks. and 10 percent were younger than 50. Those smart features have broad appeal with VALUABLE ADDITIONS millennials. clean new look. BOB WIGAND (BOTTOM RIGHT) 6 USE THE POWER OF PAINT Paint keeps your home looking its best while 7 BE SMART ABOUT SMART TECHNOLOGY High-tech features ofer notoriously bad returns on investment also defending its surfaces from wear. “And they’ll pay 3 to 5 percent more for a home appeal to all generations of buyers. It eliminates the need to lift a pan into an over-the-range model. You can place a wall oven wherever you want it. 16 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. which should cover multiple rooms. so they’re used to Neutral color scheme. brighten your space with paint. Neutrals New York City. Installing some counters that a user can sit at to work allows BRIGHTEN UP cooks of all abilities and ages to take part in Whether you have a windowed nook or not. nar- row walker-unfriendly doorways. choosing one of our top-rated brands on page 71 to give walls a fresh. a wise add-on while you’re in renovation-mode. Do the job yourself for “I’ll often install a Nest thermostat because it creates the about $100 in material costs or pay a professional impression that this is a high-tech home. IDEA FILE | 5 LOOK FORWARD By 2040 there are expected to be al- most 80 million seniors. according to Jule Eller. because technologies tend to evolve quickly. top-selling interior colors and will appeal to most homebuy. $1. But certain and the elements. north of ers. If you’re getting ready to sell. tear. including programmable high-traic spaces like the kitchen should be thermostats. The existing housing stock isn’t equipped to safely accommodate that many older people—too many steep staircases. Lower microwave. accounting for 21 percent of the population. Whites and off-whites remain the being able to control things at their fingertips.” Berger says. We’re seeing the same benefit with lights. meal prep. “who grew up on smartphones. Counters at varied heights.” says JP Endres. 56 percent of homeowners who hired a pro for aging-related projects were younger than 65. According to a 2015 survey by HomeAdvisor. with the right amenities.

stricken regions with high water costs. at right. with room for seating and a built-in or freestanding grill.000 to $15. Don’t go for overly are less expensive lush landscapes.) VALUABLE ADDITIONS Easy upkeep.” Berger says. ConsumerReports. Whole-house generator. a website connecting users with home service pros. and a generator can save all of the food in that huge new fridge (not to mention keeping the lights on). is a way to create a deined space for outdoor living on a large or small scale. (For more on creat- ing an indoor-outdoor kitchen. but whereas prior genera- tions might have gone for the pool. Gen Yers GO OUTSIDE recognize the maintenance costs associated Well-equipped with it. $3. Stationary generators can usually power the entire property. VALUABLE ADDITIONS Programmable thermostat. We like the Generac 6241. 8 CONNECT TO THE OUTDOORS Your home’s property is another opportunity to expand its living space. Adding a deck or patio. and con- necting that space to the kitchen or open family room via glass doors is a smart decision. proved easier to use than the Nest in our tests.” living space and Water-savvy planting. A professionally installed unit can range from $7. $300.000. see “Open for Entertaining. “They’d much rather outdoor living areas help expand see an outdoor fire pit surrounded by a your home’s usable simple seating Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 17 .500. “[Millennial buyers] love outdoor spaces. Power failures are an increasing reality. The Honey- well RTH9590WF. especially in drought- than an addition.” on page 36. Both can be controlled from a phone or computer. according to Porch. excluding installation.

creating a large work area open to an adjacent breakfast room.” Yip says. The renovation effectively doubled the space. as he is about his busy design business. “We wanted to bring it up to date with the way we live today. with cabinets galore and an island with seating for four. That commitment to balanc- ing fab with family-friendly shows in every inch of his remodeled Atlanta kitchen. which started. “It was really important to me to have well-made wood cabinets. They 18 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Gavin and Vera. Although instantly recogniz- able from his years as a high-profile designer and host on HGTV. as a small space cut off from the rest of the house. Yip’s a down-to-earth . a company he takes care to note he has no business relationship with. CABINET DECISIONS Layout in place. as so many do. He’s as passionate about his home life with partner Craig Koch and their children. IDEA FILE | bold in black & white Bold In Black & White Vern Yip’s own kitchen pairs high-contrast design with plenty of family-friendly practicality D DESIGNER VERN YIP is a study in contrasts. choosing a simple paneled de- sign and a rich black finish from Omega Cabinetry. Yip turned to the cabi- netry. which is very different from the way people used their kitchens when the house was built in 1926.

.” A graphic black-and- white scheme lends a little designer attitude. FAMILY AFFAIR Vern Yip designed his kitchen with his family in mind. choosing durable materials with classic looks that would stand up to years of “kids and dogs.

$60. $460. “It’s tempting to have fun with tile. HINT OF COLOR STREAMLINED STOOL who has overseen more projects than A few aqua accents pick up the Designed for a 2001 exhibit at the he can count. Of course.” he says.” he says. It’s a no-brainer. but I know myself—stains would drive me crazy.” he stuck with a simple black-and-white pal- ette but went big on pattern. Yip was intent on giving Wolf 36” Gas Range. is relieved it’s over—and pretty blue of the painted ceiling. fits us perfectly now. painting the walls with broad stripes and using his own line of fabrics throughout. When specifying the cabinet design. the new space a fresh new look. “The kitchen Center-Striped Tea fers the classic look of marble but with- out the 20 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. he most- Copy Vern Yip’s timeless style with ly avoided the standard arrangement of these look-alike products upper and lower units separated by a strip of backsplash. choices include espresso-stained wood Black Horizontal Stripe Giclee flooring and white Cambria quartz Shade. lampsplus.” he says. Yip chose a mix of hard-working materials with timeless style. AND MIDDLE RIGHT) of our well-priced picks on page . and it’s nonporous. dwr.” Beveled subway tile extends all the way to the ceiling on the back Emeco Counter Stool. IDEA FILE | bold in black & white Get the Look get a lot of wear and tear—kids aren’t particularly careful when they open or close a door—and I wanted something that would really last. and I didn’t want to have to reseal the stone all the time. MIDDLE LEFT.” he says.345. “We’re busy. this sleek pleased with the results. $6. consider one DESIGNER STYLE PHOTOS: DAVID A. seat suits any style space. LAND (PREVIOUS SPREAD. Yip. “Where we needed upper cabinets. MATERIAL MATTERS To create a space with equal parts beauty and brains. from the London collection he created for Stonegate Designs. add sparkle and feature energy-efficient LED bulbs. He subzero-wolf. The crystal pendants above the island. Keeping the tile simple creates a less cluttered look. $5 for two. “I love Carrara marble. Aqua Museum of Modern Art. athome. so we didn’t want anything to be Turn a simple hanging bulb into fussy. countertops with subtle veining that of. His pretty and practical a focal point with the addition of a graphic striped shade. Quartz looks great. Like most people post-remodel. “but you have to think about all the things that will sit on your counter.” PRO-STYLE RANGE If a hefty pro-style range like this one is beyond your budget. I tried to extend the cabinetry from floor to ceiling—it’s a much more streamlined look. we have dogs and STRIPED SHADE kids.

director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets. look in a kitchen with black Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 21 . “Black’s a natural choice because it’s SHERWIN-WILLIAMS SLEEK FAUCET timeless and works with every other color. 03356 That New Black Magic When Vern Yip remodeled his kitchen. and 03364 Black. moen. $41 per yard. Yip was ahead of the curve. you need to 90 Degree High Arc Pullout Faucet. $51 per yard. Black-and-white kitchens are a full-fledged design trend. trend-fabrics. To the trade. MOD CHAIR Inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s famous Brno chair. getting lots of love in the blogo- sphere. From left: 03365 Black.” But OPEN AIR M530-7 This single-handled pull-out faucet has a sleek silhouette and a spot-resistant black isn’t for every space. Mies Executive Arm Chair. he knew SHERWIN-WILLIAMS one thing for sure: He wanted black ConsumerReports. $41 per FUN FABRICS Limit the palette and even the boldest SHERWIN-WILLIAMS mix of patterns. won’t overwhelm. $818. $750. weighs in: “At least 50 percent of the designers we work with are using two or more finishes in their kitchens. like these fabrics from ALABASTER M530-7 Yip’s own collection. modernclassics. this modern classic makes a comfortably casual dining chair. Stephanie Pierce. have plenty of natural light coming in.” she says.” she says. BLACK MAGIC M530-7 As it happened. “If you want a bright brushed stainless-steel finish.

22 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. as shown here. P290-4. including lime Yellow. in Spirited of other colors. IDEA FILE | cozy in color Cozy in Color These pretty paint shades from our top tested brands create a warm and inviting effect LEMON Sunny yellow is a cheerful choice for a . It makes even a dark room look brighter Try Behr Marquee and mixes well with a range (Home Depot). $43 green.

5004-5A. SEA GLASS Try Valspar Reserve (Lowe’s) in Homestead Resort Spa Aqua. . watery blues add a touch of tranquility to kitchens in coastal settings—or anyplace you’d like to tap a vacation-house vibe. $44 Soft.

. but it’s a surprisingly versatile shade that pairs well with a range of colors from warm neutrals. to navy blue. 06D-5. $32 There’s nothing subtle about bright red. or crisp white. black.IDEA FILE | cozy in color SCARLET Try: Clark + Kensington Enamel in Bold and Beauti- ful.

PHOTOS. PREVIOUS SPREAD. MILLET COCOA A subtle neutral with a warm base is a foolproof starting point for your kitchen’s color scheme. $54 ing a paint shade you may tire of. 1025. THIS SPREAD. Try Benjamin Moore Adding bright accessories cre- Aura in Chocolate ates a colorful look without risk- Mousse. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 25 . FROM LEFT: MARK LOHMAN. CASEY DUNN. KARYN R. FROM LEFT: CLEARY O’FARRELL.

“Re- moving all the asphalt meant taking everything out of the kitchen—basically a gut job—so while we were at it we decided to remodel. Bradley. “Like a lot of 1960s houses.” Working with architect Kristen Ware of Ware & Associates and general contractor Jack Mattern of the local design-build firm Modify Atlanta. more modern look. The Harrises had been considering an update for several years when life forced their hand: A slow leak from the old refrigerator buckled the wood floors.” Shannon says. And then things got worse. But though the suburban Atlanta home was long on memories. the couple opted not to add on but to reconfigure the existing space to create a family hub with better flow and a brighter. buying her childhood home from her parents and moving in with her husband. the kitchen was short on the kinds of modern amenities a busy young family . no expensive addition required W WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN? Shannon Harris chose to do just that. IDEA FILE | double the pleasure Double the PleasureA clever update expanded this kitchen’s square footage within the existing footprint. this one was very segmented 26 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. they found old asphalt tiles underneath. and their two daughters. “When they pulled up the wood to replace it.

AFTER A reconfigured layout eliminated the once-choppy layout and inaccessible cabinets. creating a more efficient workspace and a comfortable family hangout zone. .

off from the family room by an awkward half wall. They removed a half wall that cut the kitchen off from the adjoining family room. The efficient new layout. “He’s a great baker. so the wall ovens were important. IDEA FILE | double the pleasure BEFORE inside. And they enlarged the existing bay window to help usher sunlight into the once-dingy space. “That gave us so The old kitchen occupied a small rectangle bound by a peninsula and cut much confidence. it’s still the same kitchen Shannon grew up in.” Shannon says. and a mix of geometric backsplash tiles create a space that’s as easy on the eyes as it is to cook—and live—in. open space.” Mattern says. the family’s main cook. needs. A larger fridge comes in handy when the fam- ily entertains—as they do just about every weekend. A breakfast Bradley. the BEFORE couple got to see it in virtual reality. Before they signed off on the cabinet plan. durable honed granite counters in a light-reflecting gray. They used websites A sleek gray-and-white such as Houzz to find pictures to share with their palette gives the kitchen a sophisticated look that designers. 28 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.” The solution was threefold: To enlarge the kitchen itself.” Shannon says. replacing it with a breakfast bar with seating for two. improved storage. and they worked carefully with the cabi. the Harrises had a pretty good idea of the look they wanted in the kitchen: “Traditional but clean and simple. Because they’d been dreaming about a remodel for so long. was in charge of table took up a large portion of the floor plan. The existing storage was minimal and relied heavily on difficult-to-access corner cabinets. so getting light inside was a . flows seamlessly into the net contractor to choose storage that would fit their adjoining family room. and sleek appliances get a boost from the updated look. “And it’s on a wooded lot. the de- sign team extended it into the former breakfast nook. creating a long. Warm wood floors.” Shan- non says. replacing the old electric range with a gas cooktop and a pair of wall ovens.” she says. eliminating the old kitchen’s “unusable” cor- ner cabinets and incorporating more drawers than doors. “But now it feels like it’s really ours. Of course. picking the appliances.

ConsumerReports. THIS SPREAD AND PREVIOUS: LAUREN RUBINSTEIN (AFTER) of counters on one side of the kitchen and seating for Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 29 . AFTER Moving the breakfast table to a nearby sunroom allowed for a longer run PHOTOS. A freestanding island adds prep space but can move aside if not needed. Reconfiguring a doorway on the opposite wall created more space for appliances. The contractor suggested a highly textured local wood for the bay window to help add richness and call attention to the detail.

personal style that’s easy to copy— even on a budget. . this space has a fun. A few easy pieces will do the trick. 30 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. IDEA FILE | instant makeover Instant Makeover You don’t have to renovate to get a new look. LEFT: JEFF HERR ECLECTIC MIX With equal parts rustic and modern. COUNTRY CONTRAST Variety is the spice of life—and of kitchen design. Maze. $40 each. westelm. SLEEK APPLIANCES You can get the look of pro-style appliances without the high RUSTIC TOUCH A handcarved wood bowl lends natural texture to balance smooth and Rich Base shiny kitchen surfaces.61 each. SIMPLY WHITE BWC-01 $11. Ideas to Steal POP OF COLOR A few bright accessories add energy to open shelving displays—without adding LOW-PROFILE SHELVES Open shelving instead of upper cabinets provides inexpensive storage in a space- challenged kitchen. Cadence dining side chair in aged elm. Our top-rated ranges BEHR GLAM HARDWARE ELEGANT NAVY M530-7 on page 95 mix performance with great Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 31 . thehardwarehut. blue paint on the base $ A show-stopping pendant. creates a focal point in an otherwise simple space. BEHR Lewis Dolin 5-inch bar pull in brushed ConsumerReports. Samsung NX58H5600SS 30-inch gas range. BOLD FIXTURE $44. $ cabinets has a grounding efect in a bright space. Linework vase. $199. Go for the gold: It mixes beautifully with stainless steel. Classic country-French chairs in a mix of metal and wood are an unexpected match to a modern breakfast table. Arteriors Zanadoo 12-light chandelier. DeanPenn reclaimed 36” wood shelving. arhaus.160. samsung. A coat of high-gloss navy Root Wood bowl. $2. like this one based on a well-known Mid-Century Modern design. bambeco. etsy.

org . LEFT: JEFF HERR 32 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. and plenty of gleaming stone and steel create a look that’s current and inviting. warm wood. PHOTO. IDEA FILE | instant makeover MODERN LOVE Clean lines.

walmart. VALSPAR NOTRE DAME 5006-1B VALSPAR BRIGHT IDEA TIMELY TOUCH PARAMOUNT WHITE 7006-22 A colorful lacquered tray is both A few minimalist elements add style. Clemens clock. Bonus: The backless design doesn’t block the view of the kitchen from ad- joining areas when the stools are unoccupied. Convenience Concepts Palm Beach serving tray. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 33 . angular profile in shining stainless steel. franceandson. $361. HANDSOME HOOD Turn a function into a design feature by Freddy adjustable bar stool. $ FUNCTIONAL FUN Add a splash of color on the cooktop by picking bright cookware that’s pretty enough to leave out all of the time. Ideas to Steal SLEEK SEATING Sculptural chrome bar stools are as cool as they are comfy. helping a small space look larger.25-quart round Cool Attitude Caribbean French oven with lid. modwalls. decorative and useful. choosing a range hood that holds its own. $66. Broan convertible wall-mounted range hood. lowes. Pale gray walls and white $360. Le Creuset Signature 7. $ like this one with a BACK SPLASH An allover geometric pattern in a neutral color scheme draws the eye to the back- splash. THRICE AS NICE $479. subtly. Home Decorators Collection 1-light pendant. $47 per square foot. sleekmodernfurniture. clean contrast with the warmth of natural wood Pendant lights don’t have to cost a fortune: Hanging multiples of bargain-priced fixtures will make a big impact (and brighten your space).com ConsumerReports. Kiln chevron milk-white ceramic trim provide crisp.

HEATHER KNIGHT (TOP) COUNTRY CHIC French country accents help create an elegant but comfortable look that’s easily adaptable. IDEA FILE | instant makeover PHOTOS: ANDREA RUGG/COLLINSTOCK (LEFT). 34 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z .

like a windowsill herb garden or a miniature citrus tree. Cobble subway tile. lend an appealing ATTENTION GETTER living element to your chandelier above the dining table. elementclaystudio. Brushed nickel fits well with a French-inspired look. Schlage style lends an appealing French accent F10 Series Passage Andover doorknob with to a casual dining area. $2. this timeless 1¼-inch knob in satin nickel. $70. dwr. wayfairsupply. pick hardware with simple shapes and subtle shine. SILENT WHITE CW-C1 to entertaining area by hanging a dramatic $80 for a A pale color scheme gains character from plenty of rich natural texture. Addison rose in satin nickel. myknobs.799. brighterblooms. Napa East Collection wine barrel chandelier. TOUCHABLE TEXTURE $18 per square foot. Ideas to Steal TIMELESS TILE You can’t go wrong with subway Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 35 . $ Bright Backdrop Work an all-white palette by choosing two contrast- ing shades: one slightly gray. $4. From left: Amerock 3-inch centers cup pull CAFE CLASSIC in satin nickel. $56. the other pure white. Tolix Marais A chair. It creates a clean. CLARK+KENSINGTON Create a bold transition from workspace Similar: Nagami kumquat 3-foot tree.50. CLARK+KENSINGTON FRESH GREENS STORMY WEATHER CW-C7 Edible plants. Amerock Rochdale Designed in France in 1934. Medium scallop $275. homedepot.59. pulled-together effect in almost any style space—and it won’t break the TAILORED TOUCHES For a sophisticated look.

IDEA FILE | open for entertaining .

casual style. When the weather cooperates. ConsumerReports. A gut reno- vation and a large addition solved that problem. so we can push the table outside or move everything to create a dance floor. "Even when it's too cold to be outside. an interior designer." SMOOTH TRANSITION The wall of sliding glass doors links inside and out year-round. Marina Farrow. Now the couple and their three children enjoy a spread designed with flexibility and a connection to the great outdoors in mind." Blake says. a grand space outfitted for seri- ous cooking and large-scale entertaining.Open for Entertaining See how a pair of design pros gave their kitchen an easy indoor-outdoor flow." Blake says. you still feel sur- rounded by nature." Marina Farrow says. Then get tips for creating your own party-perfect living spaces. A AFTER A FUN FAMILY BEACH VACATION. Canada." Marina says. it's more fun. "When entertaining is easy. Blake describes the kitchen. as the "heartbeat" of the house." Blake Farrow notes. The latter is a fairly common occurrence chez Farrow. "We wanted it to feel comfortable whether it's just the family or a party for 100. "We wanted kids and everyone else to be able to run in and out without tripping. To ensure that the connection was truly seamless. The house. the Farrows built the cedar deck to the same level as the polished concrete kitchen floor. And "all the furniture is on wheels. Blake Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 37 . decided to renovate their lives. and his wife. not so much. The setting was perfect. They sold their city home and bought a dilapidated 1970s ranch on three acres outside of town with the goal of creating a place for their family to come together in nature. and they planned ac- cordingly. a builder in Ontario. a wall of sliding glass doors can be opened to create a seamless flow to the outdoor living areas. So the couple took particular care to build in a warm. "It was very Brady Bunch.

" he explains. OUTDOOR KITCHEN PHOTO. "We didn't want to add any maintenance to our life. a lower counter for comfortable dough rolling. PREVIOUS SPREAD: ROBIN STUBBERT/GAP INTERIORS Blake loves to barbecue. And she included features to suit her cooking tastes: a built-in pizza oven (not shown). 38 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. and he took care to design an outdoor cooking area that's accessible for year-round use. and installed galvanized metal behind them because it's fireproof and easy to . protecting the cedar and pro- viding a cushy standing surface. So she chose easy-care materials like tough quartz for the countertops and grainy oak for the cabinets." she says. IDEA FILE | open for entertaining INDOOR KITCHEN Marina's stylish kitchen design is long on practicality. and a huge refrigerator for party-food storage. Fire-resistant horse-stall rubber matting lines the deck under the grills. "We created an overhang so the grills are sheltered.

NanaWall. CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: ROBIN STUBBERT/GAP INTERIORS (2). and creates a handy bar or buffet Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 39 . but a number of companies offer similar products. PHOTOS. the maker of the system used by the Farrows and shown below. Granite is a wise choice for outdoor countertops because it stands up well to the elements. ConsumerReports. appearing to "disappear"—are a newly popular design feature. was one of the first to introduce the look. CASEY DUNN (2) GO FOR A GLASS WALL Sliding glass walls—wide expanses of doors that stack at one end or slip into a channel in the wall. USE WOOD AND STONE Natural materials create a visual link between an indoor kitchen and the house's natural surroundings. DARLENE HALABY. This configura- tion allows the cook to interact with guests as they enjoy outdoor areas. Here. makes it easy to transfer food and dishes. Connect Indoors and Out A close link to outdoor spaces can make your kitchen feel bigger. three ways to create low: ADD A PASS-THROUGH The simple addition of an exterior countertop turns a window into a functional feature.

& Barbecue Association. Our top three are pictured on the next page. It's easy to create an appealing outdoor space on a budget. because poor planning or working with inferior materials to save money are the biggest mistakes people make. And last. Overhead. Underfoot. Patio." says Leslie Wheeler. 40 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. a ceiling fan keeps the breeze moving. and especially fire pits. Take a multiyear approach. Outdoor . if necessary. have become popular hot spots as homeowners look to make the most of the space. choose a great grill. You can start simply by lighting up the night with long-lasting LEDs and a portable fire pit to gather around. You don’t have to do everything at once. "They let you extend your home's living space without making a big investment in an addition. gravel walkways and patios are a lower-cost alternative to stone and concrete. communications director for the Hearth. IDEA FILE | Take It Outside Expand your kitchen with a space that's great for grilling Outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas are popular for good reason.

com and lighted controls. on from feasting on average. and a push-button ignition. in. rotisserie and side burner. It has include 600 sq. GREAT GAS GRILLS Consumer Reports puts gas grills through a battery of tests for evenness. Perks preheated quickly and showed at the top of our list. of impressive temperature range four burners. It has three burners and Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 41 . Tip: grill. LEFT: TOM MARKS/MCKINNEY GROUP $270 $2. c CR c CR Best Buy Best Buy MIDSIZED LARGE SMALL NEXGRILL 720-0830H NAPOLEON PRESTIGE HUNTINGTON (HOME DEPOT) PRO 665RSIB 630124 PHOTO. huntingtonbbq. Here. and a side burner. $600 to $900 can Factor ventilation into get you a large one. an infrared and indirect cooking perfor- ignition. electronic grill surface. your plans or risk get- ting smoked out. napoleongrills. indirect cooking. mance. convenience. our top picks at every size. MONEY MATTERS SCREEN STAR Most gas grills sell for less than $300 and are Keep the mosquitos used for three years.600 $140 Superb preheating and This pricey pick performed This nicely priced model even cooking put this grill very well overall. Spending $400 you by tucking your to $600 can get you a outdoor kitchen inside top-performing midsized a screened porch. temperature range.

Here’s how to avoid the common pitfalls on the road to a beautiful new . a home-design Our survey asked crucial questions such as: website. Though the number of remodeling pros has declined. P The Planning PLANNING TO TACKLE that big kitchen renovation this year? Welcome to the club. Phase according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. an old-fashioned scrap- losing your cool. and winning jobs with need to spend time gathering ideas and lowball bids and then jacking up the cost later with taking a hard look at your own budget. Among the shady prac. Follow our advice and you could save Houzz’s ideabook feature or starting a thousands without compromising quality—or Pinterest page. according to a recent Proper planning is the best predictor survey of 300 general contractors from around the of satisfaction and will minimize the country conducted by the Consumer Reports number of costly changes you make once National Research Center. Home improvement spending is projected to reach $155 billion in 2016. So before you even tices general contractors reported are contractors think of looking for a contractor. And the construction industry has shed more than 2 million jobs since 2007. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ZELA LOBB “unforeseen problems. found that half of homeowners How much wiggle room is in the estimate? What who renovated their kitchen gathered are the biggest homeowner mistakes? How long ideas for six months or longer. you’ll using unskilled laborers.” A 2015 report from Houzz. 42 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. there are still less experienced—and less scrupulous—ones out there. book will also work well. the work is underway. Orga- do projects really take? The answers inform this nize your inspirational photos by using guide. IDEA FILE | remodeling surv ival g uide Remodeling Survival Guide Consumer Reports’ latest survey of 300 general contractors revealed some shady pro practices and costly mistakes homeowners make.

“It’s those big decisions made in the first 10 to 15 percent of the design process that have the most impact on cost.” at HomeAdvisor. What They Do layout to accommodate your future teenage they’re a good sign that the GC runs a repu. can also help you find pros. RIGHT: CHRIS TURNER/GETTY IMAGES gather your entire team as early as possible. you still need tural or mechanical systems.” says Dawn Trust and a good rapport between you and Zuber. The Contractor’s License GCs also secure all necessary like a gut kitchen renovation you should Reference Site (at contractors-license. think through the design. the 10 to 20 percent most architects local building permits. most charge fees between 4 and 7 percent of the total budget—vs. Once you have a clear idea of what you’d found that fully accredited GCs are better managing the schedule and like to do and how much you can Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 43 . from your sister-in-law. by state and a list of licensed pros. for a long time. has information on licensing requirements When You Need One See “Assembling a Winning Team. Establish a system of checks and balances between your designer and your contractor from the start. The National Association players you need—and of the Remodeling Industry offers a direc- when you’ll need them tory of certified contractors on its website. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. 10 to 20 percent of overall you’ll be living with the results of the project sional on your short list. What They Charge chitect and the general contractor working 25 percent. designer can probably draw up the plans. view (Too bossy? Condescending? Rushed?) rior designer or a certified kitchen and bath will only intensify as the project heats up. Any negative (continued on page 44) If you’re not knocking down walls or feelings you have during the initial inter- making other structural changes. You’re knocking down walls Even if they come with a glowing review or changing your home’s struc- As excited as you might be to get started. It’s also important to understand how a ConsumerReports. which could include low-profile 9 percent lacked both. together right from the start. and GENERAL your plan. Mich. and all other subcontractors. electricians. In our survey. help you and Porch. These MVPs take charge of kids and their friends. table business. What They Charge avoid the temptation to rush: Chances are to check the bona fides of every profes.” A WINNING Though word-of-mouth referrals are best. “An experienced ASSEMBLING GC will help you head off things you can’t af- ford before you pay for finished drawings. time to bring in the pros. Though proper CONTRACTOR transitions between rooms or an open-plan credentials aren’t a guarantee of quality. For major projects problems arise. What’s more. our survey the project from start to finish. project cost. PHOTO. insist on 3D draw- ings: They’ll help you visualize the remod- eled space better than flat elevations will. “It’s always best to have the ar. TEAM real estate agents can also provide leads to Know which key reputable GCs. your contractor are essential. it’s at holding down costs when unexpected hiring plumbers. almost one-fifth of GCs lacked either a Consider factoring major life changes into state license or the proper insurance. Whether you opt for an architect or a designer.) Online home What They Do services. on your own. A job is too big to do for details. When You Need One CHECK CREDENTIALS. and adhere ARCHITECT to a strict code of ethics. an inte. such as Angie’s List.” says Marc Truant. and Remember these rules as you go through the translate all of it into detailed architectural drawings for the vetting process: general contractor to follow. so you’ll want to get it right. (Its members must go through extensive screening and testing. Listen to your ideas. president of a design- build firm based in Boston. an architect based in Canton. at nari.

DESIGNER on email or handwritten notes. It Trying to decide among granite. So if more work is coming down the line. Larger contract- WINNING TEAM to be comfortable with that method. and can end up busting the budget. IDEA FILE | remodeling surv ival g uide ASSEMBLING A GC communicates during a project and certified home inspector. such as a 4 to 7 percent. but if you think that the GC include an arbitration clause. ALWAYS NEGOTIATE. The contract should Society of Interior they think the job will cost against their own list the number of outlets. For Kitchen & Bath Association begin to see what materials cost. When You Need One the highest bid. RENOVATION Two-thirds of GCs said they offer discounts Nine out of 10 GCs in our survey say they CONSULTANT on multiroom jobs. make not in the last-minute manner that can INTERIOR OR KITCHEN sure to vet the manager. What They Charge be sure to mention that. often with that’s sensational. der paid at defined milestones. as part of their overall service. which lets a homeowner track scheduling. BE FLEXIBLE ON THE BUDGET. Conventional money by handling the debris removal? furnishings. including a signer for the unique knowledge he or she brings. You’ll still or whether he’ll be delegating the job to one have to deal with any problems found. a written contract is an essential bathroom. lution outside the court system. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. you’ll You’re working on a large. For example. and others What They Do Help with design choices. cushion to cover such surprises. fixtures. What They Do Getting bids from at least three GCs will Be sure the contract also spells out exclu- These tastemakers offer guid. 44 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. for example. color. the GC a lot of leeway in the prices of materi- will cost you over the long term. It should specify it’s worth considering a de. multiroom project behind walls—electrical wiring that isn’t licensed. provide bargaining power. GCs have example. protection for both of you. who reported print. tomer was the biggest reason to haggle. Budget permitting. as selecting a kitchen counter. Find certified The number you start out with during the detailed breakdown of labor and mate- designers through the National planning phase is likely to change when you rial costs for each part of the project. it’s worth dispute arise that can’t be settled in good can be the difference between trying to get a lower price. too). Even though most tractors State License Board will rule on want a lot of hand-holding. complaints involving patent defects (such What They Charge we recommend adding at least a 10 percent as a cabinet that’s coming off the wall) for Up to 5 percent. but of his project managers (if the latter. and Designers (asid. with budget—they’ll even be the liaison between you and the GC When we asked GCs about job-related 14 percent of respondents promising more during the entire renovation. give you a sense of the market rate and sions. say. the clause provides language for reso- a room that’s so-so and one Keeping the business of a repeat cus. and other aesthetic concerns. faith. said that many of the culprits are hidden enjoy some protection if the contractor is expensive. provide a written guarantee for their What They Do work. determine your BE PREPARED FOR SURPRISES. The Help you plan. Some GCs rely quickly blow the budget. but their advice offering it is the best for the job. factoring what single dollar amount. California’s Con- and you don’t have time to manage it yourself—or you up to code. Combining proj- 5 to 20 percent. up to four years and on latent structural On major projects it’s worth paying a few defects (like a buckling foundation) for up hundred dollars for a pre-inspection by a to 10 years. (as opposed to people-related) problems than three years of coverage. which give you can safely cut—and which offering a median discount of 10 percent. price of a job (66 percent are somewhat 5 percent initial deposit with the remain- INTERIOR DECORATOR or the American to make similar calculations. switches. should also state a start and completion quartz. date (ask for a penalty fee of. Should a major Never. and 30 percent are very willing). When You Need One profit margins and unforeseen expenses. your GC. ects could also save you in the long run: COVER YOUR ASSETS. No matter how much faith you have in top or the tile and tub for the payments. median time period was 15½ so insist on one in the contract. $50 to tops is driving you insane. Ask ing companies might offer a pre-inspection (continued from page 43) whether you’ll be dealing with him directly. Only 4 percent of the GCs in our survey $100 for every day past the deadline) and What They Charge said they are never willing to negotiate the include a payment schedule. they contract doesn’t include a guarantee. really. or what’s not included. And they can help you avoid expensive mis. As for the fine takes and know which corners cited by 75 percent of GCs. a state-appointed mediator. and more. wisdom holds that you should throw out That must be stipulated. including all model numbers. and laminate counter. For major projects. such use construction management software. als. Even if your When You Need One that lead to delays or cost . watch out for allowances. contractors plan for those contingencies. Want to save ance on decorative style. the electrical costs shouldn’t be a (nkba. the full scope of the work. shipments.

before tile is installed (changing the remodeling job. inflate vice to other homeowners (and threaten. contractor. CONTRACTS With a fixed-price contract. PLAYERS The domino effect quickly adds up. and it can be the costliest. for to hazardous materials. found that 41 percent of people who which again could encourage subpar work. ones that get tested on a Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 45 . 7 percent felt they COST-PLUS setting up a food-prep space and relocat. If the contractor the dusty demolition phase.” says Bruce Irving. Choose wisely. Engaging the subcontractors directly of- cent. Whether you had a great experience paperwork unless you have change orders. and a cushion for way for you to move out. The work is messy. but Though you shouldn’t engage the general contractor provides an a third of them take longer. So-called ger. two types of contracts. in Franklin. Mass. ConsumerReports.and 5 percent CONTRACTS ing the refrigerator. and profit but does not include an amount for The Post-Project save you trouble once the work begins: contingencies. which includes containing Client-contractor relations aren’t the only on budget—by ordering cheaper lead dust with plastic sheeting and dispos. If there’s any they’re being paid. HomeAdvisor and Porch is getting stron. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE. Couples drywall. by experience frustrating. If you have a question sultant based in Cambridge. A cost-plus contract covers kitchen renovation. or work that arises after or not. if the ing of debris in heavy-duty bags. too. at least during could be held liable. perhaps. That can be advantageous for the to follow the Environmental Protection homeowner. and Most kitchen renovations the homeowner foots the bill. which the contractor pockets the profit. you profit margin. “I always tell my clients to bump up their COMMUNICATE WITH THE GC. you’ll mini. are covered by one of these Remodeling is always full of uncertainty. however. homeowner.” says Frank Montgomery. was built before 1978. Store valuable items far from the January 2016 survey from Houzz. If your home ment) signed by the GC and subcontractor example—he or she is on the hook. materials. the budget by an average of 10 percent. according to our survey. the contrac- such as during the demolition phase or There’s no such thing as perfection on a tor has no incentive to scrimp. One downside: owners make. CONTRACT The Work Phase couple of light fixtures in the hall. cost-plus will almost always save layout or grout color can be difficult and final payment until you’re 100 percent you money and give you the best costly once work has started). Instead. These other tips will labor. your GC will need throughout the project. satisfied with the project. but that means the GC has to get the electrician back in. too. during a even considered a breakup. a good contractor will help you find ways remodeled with their partner found the to keep disruptions to a minimum. Most cost-plus Changing your mind after the work is Word-of-mouth still rules. additional charges are passed along to the STAY INVOLVED. If you have to stay in the house. a contractor based STICK TO THE PLAN. ten creates conflict. You’ll need to stay on top of the too. Stipulate in the contingencies. power of online reviews on sites such as additional charges. and probably the painter. estimates of time and money by 20 per. unquestioning faith in your the contract has been signed. or a ceiling on under way is the biggest mistake home. savings. about their work—or their behavior—tell FIXED-PRICE ing to our survey. That could put you at Phase You can’t just write the contractor a a disadvantage if you’re embark- check—then check out. N. kitchen projects require the GC and let him or her handle it. subcontractors. quality product. but it can also affect Agency’s Lead Renovation. you’ll be providing a valuable ser. Even if you’ve ing on a complicated project that might reveal expensive unknowns. worksite. for instance. the a median of three weeks to complete. a renovation con. Also. moved out of the house. often feel the strain as well. If they’re not. Repair and DON’T DEMO YOUR MARRIAGE. plan on a couple If the project comes in under of in-person meetings every week and budget. ing to share a negative experience might It might be as simple as adding another bring a wayward contractor back in line). but the contracts come with a guaranteed maximum price. That said. you do need to be sure estimate covering labor. Accord. Consider a project comes in under budget. don’t make the “If you trust your contractor. the quality of the work if the contractor cuts corners to stay Painting Rule. you keep the more frequent meetings at crucial points. materials.C. What’s more. contract that the GC will provide you with exceeds the budget for a foresee- able reason—underestimating the mize stress—along with possible exposure lien releases (basically proofs of pay- cost of the drywall installation. needed couples counseling.

Buying Guide CABINETRY & SURFACES 48 cabinets 54 countertops 60 flooring 66 interior paint APPLIANCES 72 refrigerators 88 ranges 98 cooktops 106 wall ovens 110 range hoods 112 microwaves 120 dishwashers FIXTURES & FITTINGS 128 sinks 132 faucets BUYING APPLIANCES 134 best appliance stores 46 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z .

000 That’s the number of boxes of frozen spinach we stuffed into refrigerators we tested (about 125 per year). and more) to sit overnight in the dishwashers we tested. 23. eggs. chili. . and raspberry jam—we washed to see which dishwashers performed best.053 That’s how many items— including plates smeared with a sticky mess of egg yolks. peanut butter. 7. 17 That’s the number of substances we applied to dishes (baked-on brownie mix. peanut butter. creamed corn. NOTES FROM THE TEST LABS $400.000 That’s how much Consumer Reports spent last year buying appliances to test and rate.

BUYING GUIDE | cabinets MIX FINISHES Combining two or more cabinet finishes gives your space a more personal. . less cookie-cutter look.

Check manu- cent of your budget. tests have found that you And trust your taste. including fix- tures that turn on automatically when you open drawers and cabinet doors. Indeed. Easy accessibility. A kitchen should and more streamlined. That's needed to distinguish high-end cabinets. but the recent enthu- siasm for all shades of gray has made its mark on cabinets as well. Touch-to-open drawer and door releases are catching on. White cabinets will never go out of style. beforehand can often save you time may account for up to 40 per.) at the store and money. the drawers were practically all you as catalogs. so lines and square corners of Shaker still wind up with shoddy construction. such as the clean can have once-exclusive features and complement the rest of your Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 49 . they set the stage for your kitchen. Integrated lighting. Use this buying guide to help You'll find that a little research C abinets can be your biggest expense when remodeling. choose what you love. That has blurred as more manufacturers quality cabinets from the polished pre- White cabinets are popular again and offer premium features even on low-end tenders once you know where to look. Whether you paint every- thing in this cool neutral (left) or choose a two-tone effect with gray only on the base cabinets or island. But now cabinet designers are installing lighting in more places. so are cabinet styles that are less fussy lines. WHAT’S NEW Gray matters. then take a good look at and you'll have them for years. Undercabinet lighting is an es- sential and relatively inexpen- sive upgrade. Not only It used to be that dovetail joints inside facturer and retail websites as well that. it's a very livable color that's not likely to lose luster anytime soon. You'll be able to tell the why choosing cabinets is so daunting. ports doesn't test cabinets at this time. (Note that Consumer Re. though they're still not a widely available feature. store displays. ConsumerReports. Easier-to-find: PHOTOS: JANE BEILES Pull-out storage that cuts down on uncomfortable bending. Cabinets HIGH-QUALITY STORAGE ON YOUR BUDGET: HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SHOP SMARTER cabinetry. it you choose.

DETAILS COUNT PICK THE FEATURES Give basic cabinet 3 Accessories can improve cabinet functionality. ticleboard or a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panel. drawers with dovetail joinery. solid wood doors. Many are frameless. others will need to be assembled on site. the absence of a face frame can compromise rigidity. which range from $150 to $250 per linear foot. and doors with solid wood frames surrounding a fully assembled. They’re crafted to your specs and can include many personalized features. And we found basic models that held up better in our tests than some more-expensive models. Stores like Ikea offer flat-pack versions that need to be put together on site. units a high-end look by adding extras like glass doors and A pull-out trash can is a worthwhile addition. CONS: Many basic boxes are thinly veneered particleboard rather than higher- quality plywood. semi-custom. Semi-custom cabinets. off-the-shelf cabinets. Some are rail. they're are inexpensive. BUYING GUIDE | cabinets Steps to Success SET THE BUDGET 1 Cabinets fall into three categories: stock. solid wood or plywood panel instead of veneered par- meaning the door has no lip or "reveal" around it. come in more configura- tions. Some manufacturers compensate by using a thicker box—say. BASIC full-extension drawer guides rather than an integrated Often called stock. and accessories are still limited. don’t always offer the best organization. elimi- nate the face frame.) Home centers sell them fully assembled. More of them have better drawers. doors and drawers are attached directly the cabinet box. You’ll save money by keeping features to the es- On the Market sential. but they’ll also increase the cost by 20 percent or more. CHOOSE A STYLE 2 The big decision is between framed and frameless. or other hefty devices. PROS: They're a money-saving choice if you aren't too picky about style op- tions or don't demand a perfect fit. That provides great accessi- bility and a more contemporary look. Frameless cabinets. not stapled particleboard. provid- ing easy access to a mixer. Stock cabinets start around $70 per linear foot. if not perfectly. Custom cabinets can cost $500 or more per linear foot. sizes. Here’s an overview of the the construction. Framed cabinets consist of a box and face frame to which doors and drawers are attached. opt for a full-overlay door. so they’ll fit your kitchen more . consider a lift cabinet with a spring-loaded shelf that swings up and out. and custom. For the European look in a framed cabinet. Instead. often referred two as European-style. Figure on an hour or more of assembly time for each set of cabinets. high-impact charging stations are helpful. garages. But appliance hardware. 50 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Style and trim options. too. styles and sizes tend to be fairly limited. But it doesn’t pay in the long run to skimp on Cabinets can vary greatly in price. On the downside. A well-built cabinet has solid wood three main types of cabinets that you’ll ind at stores. ¾-inch plywood instead of ½-inch particle- board. (A typical kitchen has 25 to 30 linear feet of cabinets. those countertop compartments designed to conceal small appliances. and other once-pricey features. Built-in chunky. a food processor. which covers the face frame.

rather than GREG RIEGLER (BOTTOM RIGHT) boards or bulletin boards. Pantry cabinets that feature Lift cabinets with spring- roll-out trays and adjustable loaded shelves that swing door racks. PROS: Midlevel models offer many made-to-order custom options regarding size. Many are made with face-frame construction. plus a bit of room to grow. PREMIUM Message-center cabinets Cubby units that are installed Short of custom made-to-order cabinets. then tuck away but neatly out of sight. and accessories such as range-hood covers. when they’re not in use. utensils and flatware. features and quality can vary considerably. Before you order your cabinets. these semi-custom models offer the that include shallow storage underneath wall cabinets to most style and storage options. start by making a list of all of the items you plan to store. trays. Organized Inside and Out Working in a clutter-free kitchen is easier and more enjoyable. Boxes may be veneered particleboard rather than higher-quality plywood. So get a price from a local cabinetmaker before you place an Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 51 . That can make them the best value overall because you'll get the look you want without a custom price. PROS: They generally come with plywood boxes and other premium materials integrated dry-erase message Vertical dividers that neatly and hardware options. installed between the floor be a good way to fill gaps models with the most features and of highest quality can cost as much as and the base of a cabinet. so they can fit your space perfectly. dry goods. for small items as well as hold wine or water bottles. utensils. materials. including pots and pans. MIDLEVEL These semi-custom models are a sound choice for most kitchens. up and out to provide easy Slide-out wastebaskets to access to mixers and food keep trash easily accessible processors. CONS: As with basic cabinets. ConsumerReports. dinnerware. where a solid wood frame is visible around the door and drawers. Here are some popular storage options to consider as you plan your cabinet layout: Drawer dividers for corralling perfect for holding shallow small items such as cooking items such as cookie sheets. shelve cookie sheets and the typical 3 inches. finish. Toe-kick cabinets that are trays on their sides. Make sure you’ll have easy-to-access spots for everything. They can CONS: While generally less expensive than fully made-to-order custom units. and place mats. Widths may come in 1/4-inch increments. between stock cabinets. some full-custom units. and dish towels. crown moldings and other trim. GREAT LEGS Furniture-style elements like turned legs on an island add individuality. CHIPPER HATTER (TOP RIGHT). PHOTOS: ALEX HAYDEN (BOTTOM RIGHT).

loaded wall cabinets. As for door solid wood frame surrounding hinges. shore up the sure the estimate includes the wall mountings. talk with suppliers prevent boxes from warping. in past tests we didn’t solid wood or plywood panels. And be certain removal and disposal of your the installer reinforces the existing cabinets and any other mounting strips well if they’re demolition. The best ones have solid. HARDWARE Thinner wood. or particleboard are better than integrated side can be a concern with heavily rails or undermounted double. insurance certificates as well. BUYING GUIDE | cabinets Details That Count PARTICLEBOARD PLYWOOD What separates a well-made cabinet from a cheap imitation? Here are the features to look for—and what to avoid. particleboard shelves may sag. and. That way. Look for a the drawer . he Certification in kitchen and bath can account for the height and remodeling from the National type of the new wall cabinets. former customers to find out and even keep wall cabinets how the work has held up. 52 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. roller designs. Before hiring an made of thin particleboard. Ask from falling. have a plan handy. and a plywood bottom that fits MOUNTING STRIPS grooves on four sides. medium-density Full-extension drawer guides fiberboard. the location of Industry is a plus. DRAWERS SHELVES Well-built drawers are critical Look for ¾-inch plywood. Get the Installation Right A good. if possible. a high level of professionalism. find any significant diferences among the diferent types. Some premium models have a “soft close” DOORS feature that stops drawers from Most manufacturers ofer a slamming shut. Association of the Remodeling the sofits. Avoid Ask the contractor to use stapled particleboard. at least three ensure that doors sit flush. it indicates electrical outlets and plumbing. wood sides. Make For safety’s sake. ¾-inch hardwood strips or metal strips with bolt holes. When the installer for copies of the installer’s comes to give an estimate. dovetail joinery. and other variables.or ½-inch use. Many cabinet similar range of options for all models allow you to upgrade of their price levels. because drawers get the most Lesser-quality ⅝. safe installation can installer.

For more information and Ratings. such as pale yellow or panes or only use glass for display certified kitchen designer. consider a finish that reveals the wood grain of the If you can’t choose just one finish.” says Susan complement a natural wood look. MAKE A LIST and turnings for a great price in local Inventory all lumber stores and home centers. Fake a Custom Look If you’re buying budget-friendly stock or semi-custom cabinets. Or go bold cabinets. frosted glass. a the beauty of the grain to show color. through.” color (not to mention trendy deep. add an your cabinet interiors are less- “The white kitchen is a true top of the wood but also allow accent cabinet in an opaque than-pristine. something a bit more modern. and traditional. bottom. To Glass doors add a light. you don’t have to settle for the ordinary. choose frosted classic. You can find decorative trim pieces such as corbels. suggests Janet Vanderlugt. for example. onlays. kitch- ens manager for Ikea. the things you want to store. and white). Pick a Winning Finish The finish you choose for your and author of The Kitchen For those in the market for cabinets can set the tone for Designer blog. tified aging-in-place specialist. black. If sonal style—and your lifestyle. stylish kitchen depends on your per. for example. Glazed finishes. cer. TOP RIGHT: PLAIN & FANCY CUSTOM CABINETRY your entire kitchen. PHOTO. add soft. can be added to the top. so you’re sure to plan a place for everything. modern. comes at a premium price. “Legs” (or feet) added to the base of built-in cabinets create the effect of freestanding furniture. elegance and distressed fin- ishes for a vintage effect. in one area.htm 53 . or in a neutral. corner details. go to: ConsumerReports. available in a variety of styles—textured or colored. Options in. or along the bottom of wall cabinets to conceal undercabinet lighting. create a layered look TIP The right choice for your cabinet rather than obscuring by combining two or more. including country. or edge of cabinets as a finishing touch. look. translucent color on finish. such as the island. which range in style from simple and classic to elegant and ornate. But that finish often blue. Just be sure that the style you choose suits the look of your cabinets. “And it’s popu. lar today as an easy look that matte and high-gloss finishes clude clean and modern looks can be used to interpret any are available in almost every for contemporary kitchens and kitchen-design theme. rich woods for traditional If you prefer a more natural metallics. but use them judiciously. as shown here. Moldings. Decorative design elements can give even basic stock cabinets a more personalized look in an array of styles. it. and stainless steel—can enhance visual interest or create an industrial look. Accent doors.

granite. The man-made stone offers an increasingly realistic look mimicking materials such as marble. scorched. on page 59. can see why quartz is gaining in popu. narrowly edging out granite. concrete. than those materials. and more. In some instances. But quartz offers easier maintenance larity. So you’ll see some materials listed more than once in our . variation among brands. 54 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Combine those surface called Dekton. except for A pressive. DURABILITY. To test durability we stained. so we’ve rated materials. including the ultracompact recycled glass. sliced. and nicked 14 materials. MAINTENANCE MATTERS Tough quartz surfacing stands up to most stains without yearly sealing. Quartz is also top-rated in our tests. read on. BUYING GUIDE | countertops Countertops BEAUTY. quartz is im. scratched. We found big To choose the countertop that’s right qualities with granite fatigue and you differences among materials but little for your budget and space. the finish can also affect a material’s performance. AND EASY MAINTENANCE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE ATTRACTIONS OUR TOP-RATED SURFACING MATERIALS OFFER s chameleons go.

For example. or if the counter is located in another Mid-Century Modern feel. Caesarstone’s Symphony Gray pro- plus the material is waterproof and small vide an interesting geometry. including Dusk Ice. Gray matters. Stone counters impress potential buyers and could raise the selling price. except for knife Adler. adequate sense of how the material will look and it’s durable and budget-friendly. 4 REMEMBER RESALE VALUE Tile’s easily stained grout lines. WHAT’S NEW The trend for neutral hues in the kitchen continues. current “it” color for kitchens and the soft gray quartz-inspired pattern shown quartz is the toughest material in our above with medium particulates and mirror countertop tests. Josef Albers. will certainly turn heads. So ask for as large a sample Success as the retailer can get. the German-born American If you want your countertop to be a focal artist. something less durable as an accent. Solid surfacing is a good choice for top could start to show up in more kitchens. where the sink and vanity top can The diagonal lines and veining of be molded out of a single piece of material. with its geometric part of the house—say. as evidenced by the products that manufacturers rolled out at the year’s biggest design shows. beneath a fine gray linen. an adjacent laundry shapes in shades of charcoal. room or office—this new laminate pattern and white. 5 HAVE THE INSTALLER MEASURE you could choose a more durable or less And make sure the contract includes expensive material for heavily used areas and everything from the finish to the edges. Gray Josef Linen has a distinctly Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 55 . for example. MIX AND MATCH 2 Varying countertop materials looks dynamic and could save you money. bathroom. Quartz lookalike. Inspired by cuts. here are a handful of options that combine good looks with the promise of solid performance: Mid-century appeal. can raise a red flag for buyers. natural stone can vary significantly from store samples. Wilsonart unveiled 19 new solid surfacing Gray continues its reign as the designs early in 2016. Laminate from Formica. on your counters. scratches can be buffed out. so you’ll want to use a cutting board. If you’re embarking on a remodel or just looking to give the space a gentle face-lift. Steps to 1 GET A SIZABLE SAMPLE 3 KEEP AN OPEN MIND Tiny swatches or pictures can’t give you an Laminate looks better than you may remember. smoke gray. so this counter- chips. ConsumerReports. For natural stone like granite or marble. be sure to see the actual slab that would top your counters. created by designer Jonathan holds up well in our tests. but we especially love it in the Pinterest boards and Houzz photos.

but and sink. as quartz. surfacing a more traditional feel. FINISH Quartz and granite are sold with polished SINK (glossy) or honed (matte) finishes. Straight and beveled edges pieces of material can make or break the give a more modern look. expect fingerprints. Before you Details That Count order your counters. both were about the same at fighting Bullnose profile on top of the counter. Trimming sealer used. Some add For other countertop materials. but butcher 56 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Undermount sinks are stains that were allowed to dry overnight. which is more durable. BUYING GUIDE | countertops TRUE OR FAUX If you love classic white marble. are 1/16 inch or less is standard. Granites with proprietary sealers. Wide joints PHOTOS. TIP Most “white” stone and quartz countertops are actually somewhat gray. such finishes. also called . For SEAMS stone counters. such as Stonemark. consider look-alike quartz. and an S-shaped Bevel profile look. rounded edges are less The joints between two slabs of stone or likely to chip. (Water will damage wood or than regular granite. sit tests. so check first. seems that to the cost. Quartz performed sim- Short ogee profile ilarly regardless of the finish. In our Top-mounted sinks. Eased profile EDGE block and concrete counters performed The edge treatment you choose will affect differently in our tests depending on the the look of your counters.) Stainless steel and finishes help conceal scratches in stainless solid surfacing can be used for the counter steel better than in polished finishes. solid surfacing. DOMINIQUE VORILLON are a telltale sign of sloppy installation. They should be almost invisible in solid- curve called an ogee offers stone or solid surfacing and stainless steel countertops. be sure to hold up a sample of your cabinet finish against the surfacing you’re considering Small decisions can make the diference in looks and performance to make sure the colors work well together. installed under the countertop and require Less common are “leather” or “pebbled” a waterproof countertop material. FROM LEFT: ANDREA RUGG. Matte and grain laminate countertops. laminate counters with wood can create a higher-end look and prevent chipping. performed no better or concrete. stainless steel.

Here’s what left a visible mark on the other counter- top materials. the most abuse. And almost as many items stained limestone and butcher block with an oil- rubbed finish. rust. and tea. ink. permanent marker. permanent marker. and shoe polish. THE WORST STAINS FOR EVERY SURFACE You might expect mustard and grape juice to be in a lineup of worst countertop stain offenders. MIX MASTERY Stainless steel Mixing materials? Drain cleaner and tarnish remover. Recycled glass Food coloring. Bamboo (beeswax/ mineral oil finish) Beet juice. pencil. food coloring. food coloring and permanent marker proved to be the toughest to wash away. permanent marker. coffee. crayon. Marble Food coloring and shoe polish. ConsumerReports. which is no surprise given its dismal overall Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 57 . hot oil. drain cleaner. Concrete (with penetrating sealer) Food coloring. Be sure to use the more durable material in the Tile area that takes Food coloring. But of the 20 household products in our stain tests. crayon. Many things stained bamboo. and rust.

must be reapplied regularly. and it can only ultracompact we tested. so pick the look you prefer. up well to cuts. and so Pros Heat-resistant. Penetrating Cons It scratches and cuts easily. 58 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Topical sealers. cracked into Cons Cutting directly on laminate mildew. our heat . SOLID SURFACING SOAPSTONE CONCRETE Price $35 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $50 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $60 TO $120 PER SQUARE FOOT* Pros Available in a range of colors and pat. Pros Best for adding the beauty of stone Pros It can be custom-dyed or textured. chopping and cutting. It ite in our tests. It must sealers resist heat but not stains. large or fine glass pieces. and Cons Needs periodic resealing. LAMINATE TILE (CERAMIC OR PORCELAIN) ULTRACOMPACT (DEKTON) Price $10 TO $40 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $5 TO $30 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $60 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* Pros Inexpensive. be professionally repaired. small scratches can be repaired. terns. and patterns. and scratches didn’t harm gran. color. and Dekton. we found a difference among brands. the fabricator’s skill and the sealers used. and heat. It resists most stains. Stains and heat Cons It chips. and heat. abrasion. be rubbed with mineral oil periodically. much better-looking than you probably use near stoves. Stain resistance is so-so. sample to slab. cuts. nicked. Most we tested of mineral. resisted stains. so buy from a stone yard. cuts. Polished and matte finishes Cons It’s the only material for which comes in vibrant colors and patterns that resisted most stains when properly sealed. Chips must ones that developed a thin crack during you’ll need a pro to repair them. Thinner grout lines and darker two pieces on samples that were 2 cen- easily and permanently damages it. It withstands heat Cons It may crack. with needs less maintenance. so scratched. thanks to new printing technol. Color won’t vary much from very well. pieces of ogy and decorative edges. Cons In our impact tests. aren’t ideal for kitchens. look like granite and marble. timeters thick. quartz stands Heat. scratches. can stain even when it’s sealed. and abrasion. It comes in many colors. Small Slabs vary. tile is ideal for Pros Resisted damage from heat. sizes. The grout between tiles the edges chipped off. and resin. and heat. mended thickness. BUYING GUIDE | countertops QUARTZ GRANITE RECYCLED GLASS Price $40 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $40 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $60 TO $120 PER SQUARE FOOT* Pros It mimics the look of stone yet Pros Each slab of this natural material is Pros Available in a range of looks. remember. so grout might help somewhat. A combination unique. it can be used for counters. rare colors and veining cost more. the didn’t damage the laminates we tested. and to a low-traffic kitchen. Cosentino’s Eco counters were the only Cons Edges and corners can chip. which resist stains but not nicks and scratches can be repaired. Cons It is easily sliced. the manufacturer-recom- use a cutting board. Durability depends on backsplash. sink. stains. easy to install. and they a cutting board is a must.

Price $50 TO $150 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $40 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* Price $50 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT*

Pros It repels stains and heat, and doesn’t Pros It creates a warm, natural look in Pros It offers a stone look without
rust or discolor. Counters can include an any kitchen. It’s useful for food preparation heavy veining and resists heat well.
integral sink for a seamless appearance. and is easy to install and repair. Cons Scratches and dings from our
Cons It shows fingerprints, and it dents Cons It might need periodic sealing or dropped 5-pound weight marred
and scratches easily. Matte and grain refinishing to remove cuts, dings, and the surface of this soft, porous stone,
finishes hide damage better. Stainless steel scratches. Its finish affects performance. and even a high-quality sealer didn’t
can look cold and clinical. Varnish improves stain resistance, and protect against stains. Eleven of the
penetrating oils decrease it. 20 substances we applied left stains.
*Includes installation.

Scores in context: Our tests found big variations in the durability of 14 materials but little difference
among brands, except for recycled glass. That’s why we rate materials, not brands.

Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor


Per Sq. Ft.



Price $50 TO $150 PER SQUARE FOOT*

Pros Marble is best for a classic stone look Quartz (engineered stone) $40-$100 84 X Z Z Z V
in low-traffic areas, such as a baking zone. Granite $40-$100 81 X Z Z Z V
Choose from many natural colors. $60-$120 69
Cons It’s more porous than granite, so it’s Recycled Glass(penetrating sealer) ⁄ C Z Z Z B
not as stain-resistant. It also scratches eas- Laminate $10-$40 68 Z V Z C X
ily, can chip, isn’t very heat-resistant, and Tile (ceramic and porcelain) $5-$30 67 V Z Z X C
needs to be resealed periodically to help Ultracompact (Dekton) € $60-$100 63 Z Z Z X V
ward off stains. Solid Surfacing $35-$100 53 X V X V X
Soapstone (mineral oil finish) $50-$100 46 C B Z V B
Concrete (penetrating sealer) $60-$120 40 B C Z V B
Concrete (topical sealer) $60-$120 39 Z B V C B
Stainless Steel $50-$150 39 C B Z V B
Butcher Block (varnished) $40-$100 37 Z B B B B
Limestone $50-$100 27 B B Z V B
Butcher Block (oil finish) $40-$100 24 B B X V B
Marble $50-$150 14 V B V B B
Bamboo (beeswax/mineral oil finish) $40-$100 10 B B B C B
⁄Unlike other brands, Cosentino’s Eco line of recycled-glass counters developed a thin crack during our heat tests and was
Price $40 TO $100 PER SQUARE FOOT* excluded from the Ratings. €Cosentino’s Dekton was tested. In our impact tests, chunks of the edges chipped of, and the
Dekton cracked into two pieces on samples that were the manufacturer-recommended thickness of 2 centimeters.
Pros Available in several styles, including a
parquet pattern.
Cons Bamboo is easily stained, scorched, How We Test: We applied 20 common foods and household products and let them stand
sliced, and nicked. The maker might warn overnight before cleaning to test staining. Not everybody uses a cutting board, so we sliced and
against using it around a sink because chopped using weighted knives to check resistance to cutting. We put a pot illed with oil heated to
moisture can warp the material. And it 400° F to see how the material resisted heat damage and discoloration. Running a weighted
might darken over time. sanding block back and forth 25 times over each material tested its resistance to abrasion. And
because pots drop and other accidents happen, we dropped blunt and pointed weights from up to
3½ feet to test resistance to impact. Scoring is based on the drop height at which damage is irst
seen. Price is the typical range per square foot, including installation.

For more information and Ratings, go to: 59

BUYING GUIDE | f looring

Prefinished wood
and bamboo
floors cost more
than unfinished
products, but you’re
likely to save overall
because factory
finishes tend to last
longer—and they’re
warranted by the


ll flooring looks great out of engineered-wood floors are especially old floor with no need for glues or fas-

A the box, but the true test is
what happens once real life
takes over. Good news: Our
latest tests revealed a variety of options
that pair stain resistance with long-
prone to denting from dropped items.
A great upside to solid hardwood and
bamboo, however, is that many can be
refinished multiple times to get rid of
the scratches and dings of normal use.
teners. Like wood, laminate floors fall
short at resisting foot traffic and dents
but are an excellent choice for holding
up to the effects of sunlight. All tested
models scored Excellent for resistance
lasting good looks. Want to pay less for a wood look? The to sunlight and moisture.
For many shoppers, there’s no better laminates we tested performed Vinyl flooring, like laminate, is im-
substitute for the warmth of wood. But about as well as solid wood. And they mune to the effects of moisture and
in an active kitchen, both solid- and can be floated: installed right over your sunlight, is moderately priced, comes


has also garnered attention since disruptors—and some are samples and one sample of wood
Home Depot and Lowe’s an- classified by the Environmental flooring we tested.
Phthalate-free vinyl flooring. nounced that flooring products Protection Agency as possible or Although we found phthalate
You may have heard that Lumber they sell will be phthalate-free probable carcinogens. levels to be very low in our wipe
Liquidators suspended sales of by 2016. We support what those We recently ran our own test of new and artificially aged
laminate flooring sourced from home centers are doing. in-house tests for 13 types of floor tiles, we still recommend
China pending its investiga- Consumers Union, the advo- phthalates. Our results? Phthal- caution. Parents of toddlers
tion after a “60 Minutes” report cacy arm of Consumer Reports, ates are used, but levels in the especially should take care to
accused the retailer of selling has long raised concerns about flooring varied. In terms of con- wet-mop the floor often and
floors that emitted high levels of phthalates. Used to make plas- sumer exposure, we found only wash children’s hands after the
formaldehyde. But another con- tics more pliant, those chemical very low levels in the air and on little ones have been crawling or
cern, phthalates in vinyl flooring, compounds are also endocrine wipes we ran across the 17 vinyl playing on a vinyl floor.

Steps to Success
Use these strategies to pick a loor you’ll love today and tomorrow

1 Before you buy, pick up samples of
your top flooring choices. Compare
Our top products performed best
them side-by-side where they’re go- in simulated foot-traffic tests. For
ing to be installed. less busy areas, consider one of the
top engineered-wood or bamboo
floors for their natural veneer and
CONSISTENCY easy installation.
Manufacturers try to match solid-
and engineered-wood flooring for
color and grain. But variations can INSTALLATION
occur from one batch to the next, so Before installing wood or laminate
buy all of the flooring you’ll need at flooring, unpack it and let it sit for one
one time. On the flip side, laminate to three days in the space where it
in a wide variety of designs, and with
floorboards within a given package will be installed so that its tempera-
“luxury vinyl” tiles and planks, is easier often have a similar pattern. To ture and moisture become acclimated
to install than sheets and can be in- reduce repetition, pull boards from to the levels in the room.
stalled over existing flooring. However, multiple packages when installing.
resistance to wear, scratches, and dents CHECK FOR
was inconsistent.
Porcelain tile flooring, or more accu-
To determine how much flooring
you’ll need, calculate the room’s
Vinyl floors with the industry’s
FloorScore certification emit rela-
rately, planks, has emerged as a terrific
choice as a subcategory, though some square footage by multiplying its tively low levels of volatile organic
length times its width. (Divide an compounds—substances linked to
models with textured surfaces showed
irregularly shaped room into smaller health problems and pollution. For
wear on the ridges or higher points
rectangles, calculate the square wood flooring, certification by the
In addition to resisting dents, which
footage of each rectangle, then Forest Stewardship Council and the

in the case of porcelain and other add them together.) Then buy 7 to Sustainable Forestry Initiative offers
ceramic products is really resistance to 10 percent extra to allow for mis- some assurance that the flooring
cracking and chipping, porcelain prod- takes, bad samples, and waste. Con- comes from responsibly managed
ucts are great at resisting scratches, sider buying an extra box of flooring forests. Check packaging for prod-
stains, sunlight, and moisture. for future repairs or additions. uct and manufacturer certification. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 61 teragren. lots of styles. $7 PER SQUARE FOOT harriswoodfloors.50 PER SQUARE FOOT others of their ecotimber. changed color under ultraviolet light. It can mimic a variety of natural materials and can Market refinished several times if necessary. this oak product a top pick. BUYING GUIDE | f looring SOLID WOOD ENGINEERED LAMINATE On the AND BAMBOO Best for natural warmth. and Consider the pros and and some can be damaged by flood. with specific strengths. But they can be damaged by flood. ENGINEERED WOOD FROM OUR EXPERTS “Teragren’s Synergy bamboo ofers the best B2 HARRIS WOOD chance of avoiding dents TRADITIONS SPRINGLOC RED OAK BRIDLE and traic wear. scratching and staining. stains. cons of your top options teragren. Several fasteners or glue. But most dent relatively easily. and held Other pluses include superb with a finish that withstood most focus on top picks up very well against scratches.50 PER SQUARE FOOT the shortcomings of Toughness against scratching engineered value. refinished once. we foot traffic and stains. and all resist stains problem for busy kitchens. This veneer over Best for toughness. resistance to scratches and foot traffic. Both are challenging to install. or both. and show wear and dent easily. stapled. substrate can be nailed. The best prod- But both tend to dent easily.20 PER SQUARE FOOT $ 62 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. or usually be floated. A1 LUMBER LIQUIDATORS A2 ECOTIMBER WOVEN A3 TERAGREN PORTFOLIO scratches. lumberliquidators. or “floated” without ucts wear well. It did HE2505OK48 TEST PROJECT LEADER dent easily. of this solid bamboo flooring. along for most. and color CASA DE COLOUR SELECT HONEY WBH061 NATURALS WHEAT change better than PEWTER MAPLE 10032461 $6 PER SQUARE FOOT TPF-PORTTG-WHT $4. are chief strengths But it dented easily. Here. laminate can’t be refinished. Price $3 to $7 per square foot* for kitchen looring Price $5 to $10 per square foot* Price $4 to $9 per square foot* d PREFINISHED SOLID WOOD AND BAMBOO RECOMMENDED MODELS Top performers usually resisted . and easy installation. But it faded in sunlight. usually $5. But This top-scoring stranded bam- dents were a challenge This top-scoring solid wood boo resisted foot traffic better Exceptional resistance to showed excellent resistance to than most other solid floors. Many can be and sunlight.” and staining with resistance to B1 TERAGREN SYNERGY color change from sunlight made WIDE PLANK JAVA —JOHN MCALOON. Solid flooring can usually be sanded and WOOD AND BAMBOO Best for easy installation and natural warmth. a glued in place.

thing except foot traffic.80 PER SQUARE FOOT Superb resistance to scratches. Dropped items color of the vinyl below. and it tends to resist wear well. This product did better than other linoleum products at standing up to foot traffic and This wood-look porcelain tile performed superbly in our tests. But it dents lowes. This flooring did an excellent job This flooring showed superb F1 LUMBER staining. resilient surface and lots of budget. Price $2 to $6 per square foot* mance overall. EXPERTS congoleum. stains. and color ConsumerReports. And scratches deeper But all fell down in at least one of But most can’t be floated and are than the decorative layer show the our tough tests. Best for projects with a bigger installation. Lumber Liquidators’ Avella is impervious to moisture and excelled C1 ARMSTRONG COASTAL C2 PERGO MAX PREMIER C3 HAMPTON BAY in all of our tests. sun. All of those we tested eties are more affordable. Many products resist able.VINYL LINOLEUM CERAMIC TILE Best for practicality and easy Best for those who want a sustain. foot traffic. resisted stains and sun exposure. It can be floated or installed with thinset. $3. more choices and better perfor.50 PER SQUARE FOOT $2. VINYL LINOLEUM TILE D1 CONGOLEUM E1 ARMSTRONG F4 TORINO RUSTIC DURACERAMIC SIERRA MARMORETTE OAK SEQUOIA SIERRA GRAY SLATE SI-74 BROWN LP066 10109111 GOLDEN GREIGE $5 PER SQUARE FOOT $4. and foot traffic. armstrong.60 PER SQUARE FOOT Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 63 . sunlight. It had impressive resis. But it dented easily. can crack it. though newer floating vari- damage from moisture. and grout will stain. There are stains. LIQUIDATORS sun exposure helped this flooring color change from exposure to and fading in sunlight. It was AVELLA BRAZILIAN impress. stains.50 PER SQUARE FOOT $1. porcelain tiles are a great choice for any area of the home. Vinyl tiles offer difficult to install. against foot traffic. Fixing a broken tile can be tricky. a wide variety of colors and sizes But even the best still look like vinyl Some also had other strengths. spills.50 PER SQUARE FOOT $7 PER SQUARE FOOT FROM Strong resistance to foot traffic. scratches. But it didn’t fare as well also impressive at fending off CHERRY 10039367 tance to wear from foot “With many styles that do an impressive job LAMINATE mimicking wood stone. dents. stains. with Excellent marks for every- OUR and color change from sun expo- sure make this a durable choice. style choices. and resistance to scratches. up close. Price $4 to $9 per square foot* Price $5 to $15 per square foot* *Prices include installation. resisting stains. TEST PROJECT LEADER $3. and color change from of resisting scratches.” LIVING L3051 WHITE HEATHERED OAK 672976 CLEBURNE HICKORY WASH WALNUT (LOWE’S) 367551 (HOME DEPOT) —JOHN MCALOON. builddirect.

00 56 21 V Z Z B V Nail Down PF9759 (Home Depot) manual for any special Liquidators Virginia Mill Works Lexington .50 76 14 C Z Z V Z Floating But that’s still easier than d 2 Pergo Max Premier Heathered Oak 672976 (Lowe’s) $2. such Teragren Portfolio Naturals Wheat TPF-PORTTG- d 3 WHT $7. But you can 3 Armstrong Century Farm Hickory Natural $6.00 62 18 V Z Z V Z Floating 6 Pergo XP Grand Oak LF000326 (Home Depot) $3. Bruce Hickory Country Natural AHS601 11 (Home $5. ENGINEERED-WOOD FLOORING Badly worn or damaged d 1 Teragren Synergy Wide Plank Java $7. the highest scored 96. American Scrape Oak Brown Bear 9 Armstrong SAS503 $7.00 20 Nail Down Depot) 50 V Z Z B B Some hardwood manu.00 27 Nail Down or (Home Depot) 39 V X C B Z Staple 2. or Floating but you’ll probably want d 2 EcoTimber Woven Honey WBH061 $6.00 24 11 V B V V C Floating requires chiseling out the damaged section and C.00 23 Nail Down es. Per Box Scratches Stains Dents Sunlight (UV) Installation Minor damage may enhance the rustic look of distressed or hand. consider c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor repairing it BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE RESISTS Rec. CR Best Buys offer the very best for the money. 8 Mohawk Pastoria Red Oak Natural HCC27-10 $4.30 29 Floating (Home Depot) 41 V Z V B V 3. followed by 5 Heritage Mill Scraped Oak Amaretto PF9773 $4. Recommended models offer top performance in our tough tests. 10035269 59 V Z Z B B or Floating or sanding.50 69 20 C Z X V V Floating as deeper nicks.80 72 25 C Z Z B Z Floating 4 Armstrong Architectural Remnants Woodland $5.00 71 23 C Z Z B C Nail Down or Glue to fix other flaws. scratch- 4 Home Legend Strand Woven Solid Bamboo Toast $3.00 51 24 V Z C B C Nail Down A color-matched felt marker can hide small 10 Mullican St.30 31 Nail Down. PREFINISHED SOLID-WOOD FLOORING scraped floors by blend- Lumber Liquidators Casa de Colour Select ing in with other patina. then follow 6 Lumber County Oak Wirebrushed 10038443 $5. Listed below FIX IT? are the top-scoring models.50 76 17 C Z Z X Z Floating removing an entire row of Hampton Bay Cleburne Hickory 367551-00087 tiles or planks. A.50 59 20 V Z Z V Z Floating 64 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. 15 Shaw Western Hickory Passage DH83100229 $7. LAMINATE FLOORING gluing in a new piece. available at Liquidators Bellawood Natural Red Oak Nail Down or 14 Lumber 10034544 $4.50 28 Floating do spot repairs of wear or GCH452NALG 60 C Z X B B damage with light buffing 4 Lumber Liquidators Bellawood Natural Hickory $5.50 53 19 V Z X B V Staple 8 Bruce Dundee Plank CB1210 $5.40 25 Floating Lock HL16 (Home Depot) 51 V Z X B V this with thin veneers on Mannington American Hardwoods American Oak 7 Plank $4.00 22 Floating Reclaim Old Original L3102 62 V Z Z C Z 5 Pergo Max Natural Oak 90870 (Lowe’s) $3. in order of performance. Replace only 9 Millstead Red Oak Natural Click PF9356 $3.20 76 20 Z X Z B B Nail Down. Staple.40 41 40 V Z C B V Staple home centers and flooring supply stores. staining. Raymore Oak Gunstock HCC58-50 Nail Down or 12 Mohawk (Home Depot) $6. Floating these simple steps: 7 Allen + Roth Autumn Oak LSAR45-01 (Lowe’s) $5. Armstrong Coastal Living L3051 White Wash d 1 Walnut $3.00 45 19 V Z C B B Staple facturers even offer color- blended filler for chips 13 Mullican Hickory Saddle 17769 (Lowe’s) $6. Glue. $3.00 34 Nail Down. the lowest. (Home Depot) 40 V X Z B V Heavy damage or a 10 Natural Floors by USFloors Bamboo 609LS $3. Ft.30 17 Floating (Lowe’s) 33 V C X B C cracked stone tile usually 11 Millstead Smoky Mineral PF9577 (Home Depot) $4.40 55 23 V Z Z B Z NailorDown. Sand it.30 51 24 V Z C B V Nail Down scratches in any floor. Andrews Solid Oak Strip 10930 $6. BUYING GUIDE | f looring CAN YOU Ratings Scores in context: Of the 54 flooring products we tested. B.00 20 Floating what’s damaged. and grooves. Before you replace your loor. Check HL40S (Home Depot) 59 V Z Z V X or Glue the manufacturer’s 5 Heritage Mill Brushed Vintage Hickory Pewter $6. d 1 Pewter Maple 10032461 $4. Among those. Mark it.00 16 Nail Down or 44 V C X B X Staple and grooves.70 52 22 C C X B V Nail Down 1. d 3 (Home Depot) $1. But be especially (Home Depot) 53 V X X B Z Glue. 33. or Floating careful when attempting 6 Home Legend Hand Scraped Oak Gunstock Click.50 62 33 V Z X B Z Down refinished. Staple. Rank Foot Traffic Sq. Glue. Glue.00 48 36 V Z C B Z Floating engineered-wood floors.00 64 23 C Z C C X Floating wood floors must be Harris Wood Traditions SpringLoc Red Oak Bridle Floating or Glue d 2 HE2505OK48 $5.

org/cro/flooring/buying-guide. we drag a sharp. Ft. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE RESISTS Rec. Rank Foot Traffic Sq. we leave a damp sponge on the looring overnight and soak samples for a longer exposure.00 80 13 C Z Z Z Z Thinset wrong once it’s installed 6 Mannington Beachwood Coastline BW2T36 $2. Data not Then buy 7 to 10 percent c 1 Armstrong Marmorette Oak Brown LP066 $4. To test for denting.00 91 10 X Z Z Z Z Thinset Floating or ing that looks great in a d 4 Torino Rustic Sequoia Sierra Gray 10109111 $7. F.00 15 Floating Hickory 34074SQ (Home Depot) 53 V Z C V Z 8 Style Selections Tavern Oak 528976 (Lowe’s) Restoration Collection $1.00 40 Data not available V B Z C Z Glue Down square footage by mul- E. progressively heavier rig across the looring until scratches are visible.30 52 17 V Z C B Z Floating Chateau Sunset 22300 Handscraped Saratoga Hickory TO SAVE 10 TrafficMaster 34089 (Home Depot) $1. LAMINATE FLOORING continued 7 Home Decorators Collection Distressed Brown $2.80 49 20 Floating Buy only what you need.00 13 Floating want for less with (Home Depot) 46 V Z C B Z these easy tips D.00 65 40 X V Z C Z Peel-and-Stick You also can often save 9 Stainmaster Washed Oak 737998 (Lowe’s) $2.htm 65 . LINOLEUM FLOORING tiplying length by width. and 10 other common household items overnight on each loor.00 77 13 V Z Z Z Z Thinset in your kitchen. and removing tance. And to measure moisture resis- subfloor. the way yourself.00 69 available Z B Z Z Z Floating on overstocked flooring. PORCELAIN-TILE FLOORING Lumber Liquidators Avella Brazilian Cherry See the real thing. and none was slippery. 7 Marazzi Montagna Saddle ULG56241P $2.00 77 28 Floating dators. you can save We leave grape juice. Canberra Acacia 50SLV503 (Lowe’s) C B Z V Z Determine the room’s 13 Path 72102 AirStep Evolution Forest Valley Deer Congoleum $2. Even if you hire a pro for How We Test: To check for resistance to foot traic.00 76 16 C Z Z C Z Glue Down from manufacturers and Tarkett FiberFloor Lifetime Data not sometimes offer deals 7 Berkshires Oak Harbour Brown 38163 $2. which is why neither of those characteristics is in the any baseboard that’s in Ratings. go to: ConsumerReports.10 51 24 V Z Z B Z Floating 11 Shaw Timberline SL247 Sawmill Hickory 255 $5. we use an abrasion machine to see how quickly the surface PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES gloss changes. 8 Style Selections Antique Oak WD4712 (Lowe’s) $3.00 15 Thinset (Home Depot) 64 V Z Z C Z Do your own prep work.50 86 25 Z Z C X Z Glue Down Liquidators (lumberliqui- 5 Shaw Matrix Regency Gunstock Oak LX90100706 $2. Price per square foot is approximate retail.50 73 available C Z X C Z Glue Down 2 Forbo Marmoleum Click Square Walnut 763874 $ buy directly (Lowe’s) Z C X C Z 6 Mannington Adura Essex Oak Natural AW511 $5.00 62 7 V Z Z C Z Floating extra to allow for the unexpected. c 1 10039367 $3. Square feet per box is as claimed. mustard. For more information and Ratings.50 59 Data not Loose Lay or available C B Z Z Z Glue Down boxes and flooring with 11 Home Legend Oak Graphite HLVT3024 $2. we drop sharp and blunt objects from diferent heights onto each loor. leveling the We measure color change after more than 300 hours of high ultraviolet light levels.00 47 18 V C Z B Z Floating Get the loor you 12 Home Legend Santos Mahogany HL87 $ and Lumber d 4 Armstrong Alterna Mesa Stone Canyon Sun D4112 $5.50 59 19 V Z C X Z Floating on opened or damaged 10 Mannington Black Mountain Oak Fireside 080171 $1.80 53 23 Floating minor surface flaws. installation. d 2 Barnyard Gray A6861 $5. try to clean them of. (Home Depot) V C X Z Z 12 SmartCore by Natural Floors $2. VINYL FLOORING Congoleum DuraCeramic Sierra Slate d 1 SI-74 Golden Greige $5.00 94 17 Z Z Z C Z Glue Down Retailers’ losses Armstrong Luxe Plank Timber Bay can be your gain.70 92 27 Z Z X Z Z Glue Down (ifloor. hundreds by tearing out then check for staining.50 93 24 Z Z Z X Z Floating Tarkett Nafco PermaStone Collection— Discounters such as iFloor d 3 Natural Slate-Sand Stone NS-660 $4.00 95 5 Z Z Z C Z Floating far less than buying floor- d 3 Style Selections Natural Timber Ash 553878 (Lowe’s) $4. Per Box Scratches Stains Dents Sunlight (UV) Installation C.00 81 10 C Z Z Z Z Thinset catalog or online—and all d 5 Dal-Tile Forest Park Timberland FP97 $7.00 53 21 V Z Z V Z Floating WAYS 9 Mannington $4.60 97 14 Z Z Z Z Z Thinset Paying for samples costs d 2 SnapStone Beige 11-001-02-01 $8. None of the looring in the Ratings above swelled or warped. old flooring. For scratches.

Our latest tests revealed products that make painting faster and greener—for less. and some lower- priced options fared far better. See “On the Market.” on page 69. keep in mind that it always makes sense to buy the highest-quality paint. so we’ve combined the scores to make it easier to use our Ratings and to shop. but you’ll end up putting on more coats for better hid- ing. Relying on past experi- ences isn’t a good way to choose a brand because paints are frequently reformu- lated. BUYING GUIDE | interior paint Interior Paint A COLORFUL NEW COAT CAN UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN’S LOOK IN A WEEKEND OR LESS. which changes their performance. Last. price doesn’t always guarantee performance: Some of the most expensive paints we tried fell short in our battery of tough performance tests. 66 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. So you could end up spending far more in the long run. And we found that a brand’s various finishes perform similarly overall. However. NO REMODEL REQUIRED icking a paint has become harder P than just deciding on a color (as if that weren’t confusing enough). Budget paint may cost less up front. be sure to pick the right . That said. But there is good news. so don’t let a high price or a European pedigree fool you: Check our Ratings on page 71 before you buy. to understand which finishes work best in every application.

though one with a good eye and mixing equipment with clean nozzles can help. quality. Fluorescent light and have the clerk enhances blues and greens. then let it dry. including photo galleries of fin- ished rooms and calculators to help you figure out how much paint you’ll need. To get the color. so it’s better to go too light than too dark in a given shade. but it might not do much of your choice. Here’s how to ind the perfect paint and color for the job: START SHOPPING ONLINE 1 Manufacturers’ websites and Facebook pages offer a wealth of tips on choosing colors. you don’t have to rely on the skills of a sales clerk. Color intensifies over large areas. Steps to Success Many aspects of paint performance depend more on the quality of the base than on the color. GET THE COLOR PERFECT 2 Certain hues are specific to a brand. Some stores keep a hair dryer on hand to speed the process. With paint-color formula books and color- matching computer technology. but it makes color-match the warm reds. and durabil- TRY BEFORE YOU BUY ity you want. The tint base largely determines the paint’s toughness and resistance to dirt and stains. for cool ones. take a swatch to your preferred retailer 3 Paint large swatches on different walls and look at them at different times of day and in different light. But retailers can often match colors. oranges. ConsumerReports. be sure to have the sales representative put a dab of the color on the paint chip or sample TIP you’ve taken with you. Incandescent light works well with performing formula warm colors. They’re also good places to check for deals such as free samples and military or moving discounts. and the colorant contributes to hiding and how much the paint will fade. and yellows appear chip into the top- dull. Because the paint base and sheen can differ slightly among Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 67 .

Semi- Interior paint should gloss paints are the dry smooth. and rigorous cleaning. They can make a window difficult to open or cause items to stick to a shelf. . you’ll need a paint that’s good at hiding. 68 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. showing brush or RESISTANCE so consider that when roller marks or leaving This is very desirable using semigloss on GETTY IMAGES (BOTTOM LEFT) a grainy surface. Satin and semigloss Some paints dull. but when cleaned SMOOTHNESS there are exceptions. But for best coverage and a perfect finish we recommend two. RESISTANCE TO STICKING Some interior paints never seem to dry completely. so get a coating that can last longer even if it costs a few dollars more per gallon. even with a top-scoring paint brand. without SCRUBBING most likely to change. age mildew growth. HIDING ABILITY If you’re changing walls from dark to light. BUYING GUIDE | interior paint Details That Count The features most important to you depend on the job at hand. MILDEW RESISTANCE This is especially important in a kitchen. at resisting stains. for paints in rooms surfaces such as with lots of activity— handrails and doors like kitchens—that that will need frequent may need frequent cleaning. Most of the time and expense of painting goes into the prep work. STAIN CHANGE where moisture and RESISTANCE IN GLOSS humidity can encour. Here are the features we consider when testing paints. finishes generally are become shinier. and better than flat paints even change color SURFACE PHOTOS: SMITH COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES (TOP LEFT). Many new paints can cover a contrasting color with a single coat.

pros relied on oil-based paints for projects that required an extra-hard. Most paint (and textured walls) absorb light. and other not have any VOCs at all. They’re generally the easiest to clean. durable finish—like baseboards. some may tend to dull when scrubbed. hallways. Some might respiratory problems. kids’ rooms. Those solvents. Semigloss paints require a smooth. Many manufacturers FLAT AND MATTE claim that their paint is On the Market Flat finishes hide imperfections well but are the least Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 69 . entirely odor-free. and semigloss formulations perform simi. WHAT’S NEW Self-priming paints. released into the air as and we’ve found that some of the best-performing cause their shine can accentuate imperfections on the paint dries. air pollution. eggshell or to stains. free of VOCs. Water beats oil. prepared surface with few flaws and imperfections. ConsumerReports. They’re ideal we tested are claimed to larly overall. Glossy paints and smooth surfaces reflect. lines. we’ve combined the scores into one to for kitchen and bathroom walls. and the like. simplify the selection process. Flat paints change sheen when scrubbed. so they’re better for low-traffic areas. and kitchen cabinets. window and door trim. Manufacturers have eliminated a step. these paints are formulated to stand up 50 or fewer grams of page 71): Because a brand’s flat or matte. Use them on fairly smooth. windowsills. The rooms. or VOCs) have forced latex to match oil’s durability. and some satin. so colors seem companies now say that darker. Here are the types of paints to consider. so SEMIGLOSS their products contain colors look brighter. well-prepared surfaces be. These paints are best for kitchens. Paints that are self-priming are noted in the Ratings. improvements in water- based latex paint (and laws requiring lower volatile organic compounds. We generally test most lines from major brands. have been paints are not always the most expensive in a brand's wall. Keep in mind that the woodwork. For years. one coat of a recommended paint should be enough to hide most colors beneath. and gloss level affects perception of color. well. But now. For most surfaces. One note about our Ratings (see Shinier still. But even those greener degree of glossiness may differ from one manufac. formulations might not be turer to another. Less odor. though the tints used to color the bases might have EGGSHELL AND SATIN some. and also family linked to headaches. All of our top picks let you skip priming. but VOCs per liter.

Behr Premium Plus Ultra interior The Clark+Kensington Enamel to compare. It left a smooth finish and left a smooth finish. old —ENRIQUE DE PAZ. eggshell or satin. The satin and semigloss are the RECOMMENDED EXPERTS best choices for kitchens because most stains will wipe of easily. and aggressive in the lowes. our tests have shown that price has little $105 VS. $17 to do with quality. PRODUCTS That's important because it not only Our recommended makes clean-up easy but the sheen products are high. so we’ve 2 VALSPAR RESERVE 3 BEHR PREMIUM 4 CLARK+KENSINGTON $44 (LOWE’S) PLUS ULTRA ENAMEL combined the scores to $36 (HOME DEPOT) $32 (ACE) The Valspar Reserve interior make it easier for you paint from Lowe’s is self-priming. CR Best Buys ofer the best blend of performance and low price.” $43 (HOME DEPOT) well overall in our tough homedepot. Among HIGHS & LOWS Once again. c CR c CR Best Buy Best Buy and semigloss paints perform similarly overall. is and impressive at resisting stains priming and superb at hiding impressive at hiding old paint. respiratory problems. We have found that a brand’s flat. It’s superb at hiding old paint paint from Home Depot is self. The bottom two paints in our Ratings FARROW COLOR & BALL PLACE are the most and least INTERIOR INTERIOR expensive formulas we tested. The paint withstands stains. and homedepot. 1 BEHR won't dull because you had to use lot MARQUEE scoring paints that did of elbow grease on the stains. but is not as smooth as some. but wasn’t the best at resisting it wasn’t the best at resisting . acehardware. and organic compounds. It has low levels of volatile cleaning will change the sheen. The paint has low levels of vola- are linked to pollution. from Ace is self-priming. The paint with- paint lacks volatile organic cleaning didn’t change the sheen stands scrubbing. headaches and dizziness. PAINT (WALMART) 70 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z tile organic compounds. TEST PROGRAM LEADER performance tests. but The paint withstands scrub. which could be a problem didn’t change the sheen. The scrubbing well. smog. BUYING GUIDE | interior paint FROM “The Behr Marquee is the only excellent paint in our Ratings d OUR because it aced many of our tough tests. and aggressive cleaning stains. VOCs can cause much. but aggressive compounds.

and medium-tint bases. The Right c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor Paint for BRAND & PRODUCT PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS RESISTS FEATURES Your Needs Claims Zero VOCs Mildew Sticking Fading Self-Priming Recommended Rank Hiding Staining Gloss Change Scrubbing Surface Smoothness If you’re selling your home soon. 6 Valspar Signature (Lowe’s) $34 73 X C C Z C N N N N and more.Ratings Scores in context: Of the 21 interior paints we tested. Price is approximate retail per gallon. 43. as noted in parentheses. $36 (HOME DEPOT) For more information and Ratings. go to: ConsumerReports. mildew. Resists Mildew is ability to inhibit mildew growth. including most recommended products. are exclusive to one retailer. Many paints. Staining is resistance to water. pastel.and oil-based stains. Surface Smoothness is absence of roller marks when BEHR PREMIUM dry. the lowest. 5 Benjamin Moore Aura $54 74 Z C V Z X N N N N N scrubbing. d 2 Valspar Reserve (Lowe’s) $44 79 Z X Z Z C N N N N and homeowners Behr Premium Plus Ultra sprucing up for the c 3 (Home Depot) $36 78 Z C X Z X N N N N longer haul. 7 Behr Premium Plus Enamel $28 71 (Home Depot) Z C Z Z Z N N N N N INEXPENSIVE 8 Olympic One (Lowe’s) $27 71 BUT EFFECTIVE X C Z Z V N N 9 True Value EasyCare Ultra Premium $24 67 X C X X V N N N N 10 Benjamin Moore Regal Select $54 65 X V C Z V N N N N 11 True Value EasyCare Platinum Enamel $35 64 C C C Z V N N N N 12 HGTV Home Showcase $40 63 OLYMPIC ONE by Sherwin-Williams X C X X V N N $27 (LOWE’S) 13 Olympic Icon (Lowe’s) $25 62 C V X Z X N N N 14 Sherwin-Williams Emerald $65 61 X C V Z V N N N N 15 Sherwin-Williams Duration Home $61 61 X C C Z C N N 16 Ace Royal Interiors $27 60 X V V Z X N N BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ENAMEL 17 Glidden High Endurance $23 60 $28 (HOME DEPOT) (Walmart) Z B X Z C N N 18 HGTV Home Ovation by Sherwin-Williams $29 57 X B Z Z V N BEST FOR 19 Glidden Premium $25 54 C V C Z C N N N N LONG-TERM (Home Depot) VALUE 20 Farrow & Ball Interior $105 52 V X B X C N N N 21 Color Place Interior (Walmart) $17 43 C B V X C N How We Test: Score is mainly hiding. stick- ing. surface Scrubbing is ability to resist an abrasive cleaner. mildew. Resists Sticking is ability to resist tackiness when dry. Gloss Change is appearance change after rough cleaning. you need an inexpensive paint that freshens d 1 Behr Marquee (Home Depot) $43 83 Z X C Z C N N N N in one coat. scrubbing. need Clark+Kensington paint that can also c 4 Enamel (Ace) $32 76 X C C Z X N N N N withstand stains. Results relect white. and resistance to staining. Hiding is coverage of contrasting color mainly with one coat. Buyers. and fading.htm 71 . the highest scored 83. Resists PLUS ULTRA Fading is resistance to lightening from sun rays passing through a window. gloss change.

Allow room for the refrigerator your lifestyle as you shop some with a freezer drawer. ers swear by the convenience of Steps to 1 bottom-freezers because they keep more fresh food at eye level. retain moisture in produce. keep more fresh food at eye level. and with lower doors. Market. and refrigerator for those who’d rather have the like without reaching all the way more room for produce than Popsicles. has a special gasket and dimpled sur- markets. a top-scoring model compartment on several new Kenmore. but the HIGHS AND LOWS Bottom-freezer fresh-food compartment is cooled with new door is a cool new place to keep refrigerators like this air from the freezer. the can’t guarantee that claim. Make sure it can fit through door- Consider your space and and they come in a range of styles. Its bottom-right cham. the best and worst of what’s new. We With standard refrigerator design. for example. and Samsung fridges. Take the Samsung Chef Collection Then there’s the novel door-in-door RF34H9960S4. see “On the Always measure where you plan to put a new fridge before you buy. four or even five doors—the have to stoop to get midity. vegetables. But you’ll are better at maintaining optimal hu. ways. And retailers are responding by making more room for fruits. for a 1-inch clearance around the 72 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. reducing temperature swings. others doors to swing all the way open. ish options. that can preserve freshness by in our labs is dual-evaporative cooling. In Another feature we’ve seen more of theory. That’s supposed to extend freshness up to 25 percent by absorb- placed along the outer edges of stores. ing the ethylene gas that can accelerate The freshness trend isn’t only changing ripening. but top-freezers and side-by-sides 2 PICK A STYLE can make more efficient use of CONSIDER SIZE Success There’s a configuration to suit every household. AND OFFER ATTRACTIVE ENERGY SAVINGS merican shoppers are piling Some other freshness claims are A more fresh foods into their grocery carts. It lets you ber can be switched from freezer to access beverages. Read on for more on into the freezer. Our tests confirm the ketchup. Whirlpool. For more details on the pros and cons of each configuration. Many consum. one from Jenn-Air that refrigerators with dual evaporators Customizable door panels. They also keep ice cubes from options abound. condiments.” page 76. new fin. into the fridge’s main compartment. BUYING GUIDE | refrigerators Refrigerators THE BEST NEW MODELS MAKE ROOM FOR MORE FRESH FOOD AND CONVENIENT FEATURES. tasting like fish and other smelly foods. LG. Kenmore’s AirTight Crisper the layout of many American super. French-door models are exploding in popularity space in a smaller . and other “perimeter foods” that are usually more difficult to verify. has been putting produce preservers inside many of its crisper drawers. with four doors. it’s also having an impact on face that the company claims will help refrigerator design.

But if you do a big DECODE THE 25 percent of the market. Efficiency of your favorite fridges to compare weekly shopping trip or buy in bulk. an unlabeled the annual operating costs and the you may need more—up to about 30 Energy efficiency has become a top-freezer might be more efficient kilowatt-hours used per year. or more than $500 over adequate airflow. For an apples-to-apples compari- son. understand the label so you can go add up to a $50 to $60 difference Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 73 . Our tests found that big selling point. It means that a product is in the top the life of the unit. to 33 cubic feet. The Environ. look at the EnergyGuide labels for a family of four. New fridges are a than an Energy Star-approved We give all of the refrigerators the amount of usable capacity was lot more efficient than those made French-door model). We also test we evaluate an overall score for often less than the amount claimed. which can energy efficiency.e..sides and back of the appliance for as green as possible. most manufactur- ers recommend 19 to 22 cubic feet 3 mental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating is a good place to start. As for capacity. per year. but it’s helpful to for energy consumption. ENERGYGUIDE LABEL varies by model (i. a decade ago.

TEMPERATURE READOUTS to create room to fit tall items. sides. moisture levels inside the fresh-food section of 74 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. French-door models and in almost all side-by- filter to the refrigerator’s water-supply line. prove access to stored items. Our latest reliability survey indicates that SPECIAL SHELVES refrigerators with this convenient feature are DIGITAL CONTROLS WITH Adjustable door bins and shelves can be moved slightly more repair-prone than those without it. use less energy. helps maintain optimum temperature and you to adjust them to different heights. ing their contents. DUAL EVAPORATORS can include readouts in degrees for the refrig. Pull-out shelves or bins im. and can be placed to Ice and water dispensers are installed in some cause bad tastes or odors. and impurities that lightbulbs. This feature. BUYING GUIDE | refrigerators SAMSUNG GE Details That Count BLUESTAR WATER FILTER LED LIGHTING THROUGH-THE-DOOR It can remove small particles or contaminants LEDs take up less space than incandescent DISPENSERS such as lead and . which is becoming more com- erator and the freezer compartments. Split shelves allow mon. Elevator shelves These are more precise than dial controls and let you crank them up and down without remov. You can also add a light the interior uniformly.

some with controls that maintain optimum other appliances. Some models also have drawers As the kitchen becomes the new living room. self-close glides on the fully extending drawers are a nice added touch. The fridge will be available in a variety of colors. LG is launching a new brand of ultrapremium refrigerators. BlueStar has new line of refrigera- tors.500) or opt for a refrigerator with a glass door—the first of its kind in this width. which comes with a odors from migrating between the refrigerator CONTROL HUMIDITY and freezer compartments.850. and refrigerators that incorporate high-tech equip. you can set cooler than the rest of the refrigera- more manufacturers are hawking $3. (You might want to keep fish. You can save hundreds and get better performance by buying such equipment separately. with many features a home chef will appreci- ate. including a matte black finish that’s another example of how black is ri- valing stainless steel in the Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 75 . starting at $9. The shelves and bins are customizable. dish- washers. devices. Luxury service plans. They include fully extending shelves in the refrigerator (left) and freezer section that can fit a full- sized commercial sheet pan.000-plus tor. and cooking appliances called the Signature Kitchen Suite. But what really got our attention was LG their customer-service plan for the brand. three-year warranty compared with Crisper drawers are available in all but basic mod. Best known for cooking appliances. The big news this year is that consumers now have the option of applying custom paneling to the refrigerator ($2. It should also prevent strong food DRAWERS THAT the appliance. We’ll reserve judgment on whether the appliances are a hit until we get them in our labs for testing. Bosch continues to invest in its line of 24-inch-wide appliances. other meat at lower temperatures. MULTIMEDIA COMBOS humidity levels. and the soft. cold cuts. the one-year warranty on many els.) Some drawers ment such as TVs. WHAT’S NEW More options for small spaces. Buy an appliance and you get a dedicated kitchen concierge to answer your questions and solve any problems as long as you own a refrigerator. ConsumerReports. digital-picture or music can chill or thaw their contents quickly. Playing to the urban-living trend. Built-ins from Blue Star. and family-organizing centers.

pacity. More of these now items stuck at the back hard to have in-door water/ice dispensers. Overall. frozen goods. and a freezer below. They’re usually wide (30 to 48 inches). Look for optional front panels to match your kitchen cabinets. though there’s one drawer (or more) in. but sometimes as French- doors or four-doors. and usually tight spot. and get shelves are easily scannable. as narrow as 18 THERMADOR inches. say. Manufac. Keep in mind that some models have only one-quarter the capacity of a regular fridge but cost just as much to operate. Sometimes freezer on the other. Get the look for a little less with freestanding cabinet- depth versions. only half the fridge when stashing tall. or a kitchenette. they’re not as energy- or space-efficient as other types. and claimed capacities ap. TOP-FREEZERS BOTTOM-FREEZERS FRENCH-DOORS SIDE-BY-SIDES They’re traditional models that are They range from 30 to 36 inches They have two narrow doors on top. but our tests found of the freezer (which you use less) space doesn’t match that of com. But space-saving. 76 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. so save these babies for sodas and other beverages or for temporary storage of snacks (rather than milk or other perishables). The usable. these sleek beauties typically come as bottom-freezer or side-by-side styles. small-swing doors small kitchens but don’t open wide used to crouching down to reach you’ll have to squat to rifle through have the added value of opening enough for. Temperature performance can be iffy in some models (allowing them to rise above 40° F. a pizza box. ICON: NIKITA KOZIN COMPACTS OR MINIS They’re perfect for a dorm room. though usable turers claim about 30 cubic feet ca- 22 cubic feet. The fridge is on one side and the good for a lot of storage in a fairly wide. the point at which food may sprout harmful bacteria. your fridge parable top-freezer models. an office. with a capacity of 25 cubic feet (about 70 percent is usable). find. Widths range from 30 to and water dispensers. too). Claimed capacities go typically 32 to 36 inches. comparable top-freezers (which 36 inches. With widths 28 to 33 inches wide). Allow for a being at eye level. Another option: A column . but only about 70 percent is about 20 percent less. manufac- turers may claim capacities up to cost less than these. there are through-the-door ice most space for their size (typically usable space is less than that of between. and lower shelves and drawers. BUYING GUIDE | On the Market BUILT-INS Pricey and made to fit almost flush with cabinets and counters. Instead up to 34 cubic feet. They tend to offer the proach 30 cubic feet. that can fit in small spaces. Narrow doors are a plus for wide swing of the doors. narrow compartments make smaller items.

digital con- Other pluses include digital con.9 actu- mance and exceptional energy of total usable capacity. And if your household isn’t large. kenmore. Top-scoring noise performance. lg.170 and room on the This ConsumerReports. look at our recommended models BOTTOM-FREEZERS: CONVENTIONAL to find ones that fit your space. ft. a storage. Other pluses include spot on our recommended list. pull-out freezer light. spillproof shelves. and efficiency. less impressive temperature good temperature performance.-ft.080 Size tested 68HX33WX33D | $1. spillproof shelves.300 to use less electricity Superb temperature perfor. model earn a top mance. This model boasts 17.8-cu. light. This model provides excellent door to hold a gallon provides excellent energy and (claimed).8-cu.2-cu. Fridges that have higher energy-eficiency scores use less electricity for their capacity. spill guards. you’ll benefit from gallon door deliver more consistent shelves. and very very good temperature perfor. particularly the width.d TOP-FREEZERS RECOMMENDED MODELS Most models we c CR tested chill and Best Buy freeze adequately and include pull-out shelves or bins. and spillproof shelves. But models typically It offers an icemaker. mance and superb energy effi. remember that a smaller conventional B1 KENMORE ELITE 79043 B2 LG LDC24370ST B3 KENMORE ELITE 79023 refrigerator is likely Size tested 69HX33WX33D | $1. and an open-door alarm. energy efficiency. It is Energy Star certified. Size tested 66HX30WX3D | $950 Size tested 68HX30WX33D | $ lg. and touchpad geappliances. noise level as well as digital con. gallon door storage. spillproof shelves. It has al) provides excellent tempera- overall than a larger efficiency and noise level helped excellent temperature perfor.1 cu. ture performance and energy model will. you know how much lg.400 Size tested 69HX33WX33D | $1. split A1 LG LTCS20220S A2 LG LTCS24223S A3 GE GIE21GSHSS shelves. (claimed) model With a capacity of 23. spillproof ciency and noise level. and an trols. a freezer temperatures. Once trols. an icemaker. freezer light.300 Size tested 70HX33WX31D | $ open-door alarm.-ft. an kenmore. a lon door storage. model (15. shelves in the freezer. touchpad Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 77 .8 space you have. this model delivers energy efficiency and slightly of milk.-ft. performance and noise level. and spillproof shelves. trols. trols. ft. and an open-door alarm. It has gal. This 21. this 23.

usable capacity offers an exter.8-cu.600 This model with 21. of capacity (claimed) and This quiet cabinet-depth nal water dispenser.600 Size tested 70HX36WX35D | $1. delivers excellent temperature model provides exceptional rators. water 78 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. 21. ft. energy efficient. lockout dispenser. ice and ciency.970 —JOE PACELLA. energy controlled meat/deli bin. of usable capacity.800 Size tested 69HX36WX36D | $3. an open-door tors.5 cu. Among its features are efficiency. spillproof shelves. and spill. noise built-in Keurig K-cup level. geappliances. and pull-out shelves. model (claimed) only ofers modest usable offers an external water dis- penser. a built- kenmore.700 E22USHSS refrigerator This 27. very good crisper performance. and noise level. and tal controls. ice storage in the notable features: a hot fridge. digital controls. energy efficiency. It offers ft. gallon water dispenser. of It’s quiet.990 PWE23KMDES Size tested 69HX36WX29D | $2. and a child alarm.7 cu. a lg. ft. split performance and energy effi. temperature PROJECT LEADER C2 KENMORE ELITE 74093 C3 LG LFXS32766S C4 GE GFE26GSHSS C5 GE PROFILE Size tested 69HX36WX36D | $2. C18 GE CAFE . a built-in water filter. an external water CYE22USHSSS brewing system” Size tested 79HX36WX30D | $2. and crisper performance.-ft. dual evapora- lent temperature control. geappliances. spillproof shelves. It provides excel. dual evaporators. temperature control and energy storage in the fridge. d RECOMMENDED MODELS BOTTOM-FREEZERS: FRENCH-DOORS FROM OUR EXPERTS “This 22. ice special adjustable shelves. It’s excellent in temperature perfor- water dispenser and a mance.5 cu. and digi- efficiency. dual evaporators. and This roomy model has 25. but it has two in water filter.2-cubic-foot (claimed) three-door French-door cabinet- C1 SAMSUNG RF28HDEDPWW depth GE Cafe CY- Size tested 69HX36WX34D | $2. and spillproof shelves. It offers an internal proof shelves. dual geappliances. and storage on the door.

and digital shelves. and digital con- loaded with features.400 Overall. as was energy effi- sive temperature performance ciency and noise.5 cu. and has adjustable spillproof shelves. It’s also spillproof shelves. this is a very good refrig- This SIDE-BY-SIDES E1 SAMSUNG RS25H. PROJECT LEADER refrigerator. the most of any fridge we’ve tested. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 79 .4 cubic feet EXPERTS of usable capacity. samsung.600 fridge with the touch of a button. open alarm. touchpad controls. chilled wine. with an external water dis- offers outstanding temperature penser. lg. model (claimed) erator. drinks. a built-in water filter. and door alarm. 36WX36D | $5. including trols on its front door.000 Size tested 69HX36WX36D | $3.600 $1. energy efficiency. energy-efficiency tests. Size tested 73HX36WX37D | $6. a built-in water filter. dual evaporators. It boasts pull-out middle drawer with four good ice-making. this is an excellent Temperature control throughout samsung.5-cu. It features a and energy efficiency.900 Overall. pull-out freezer —JOE PACELLA. deli samsung. of this fridge was outstanding in claimed capacity and impres. the Samsung Chef Collection OUR RF34H9960S4 bottom-freezer refrigerator has 23. our tests. It received an innovative ice and water dis. with 33. and quiet operation.BOTTOM-FREEZERS: FOUR-DOORS FROM A top-rated four-door model. kenmore. a door- performance. and dual evaporators. excellent scores in our noise and penser. E2 SAMSUNG RH25H- 5121SR 5611SR Size tested 69HX36WX34D | Size tested 70HX36WX35D | $1. and among its temperature settings for meat/ features are an air filter.-ft. an open. One D1 SAMSUNG particularly cool feature: You CHEF COLLECTION can convert the lower-right RF34H9960S4 compartment from freezer to D2 LG LPCS34886C D3 KENMORE ELITE 72483 Size tested 73HX. and controls on the door.

crisper. It offers gallon door storage and meat/deli bins with temperature control.-ft. EXPERTS usable space.600 With a claimed capacity of 18. —JOE PACELLA. this model delivers superb temperature.” T36BB820SS Size tested 84HX36WX25D | $7. measured in-house. d RECOMMENDED MODELS BUILT-INS F1 MIELE MASTERCOOL KF1903SF Size tested 83HX36WX25D | $8.. and dual evaporators. dual compressors. along with very good energy effi- ciency.7 cu. PROJECT LEADER 80 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. but this Samsung 48-inch- wide side-by-side had very good performance F10 SAMSUNG RS27FDBTNSR Size tested 84HX48WX26D F4 THERMADOR $6. It stands this 20-cu. an open-door alarm.3 cubic feet. and digital controls. and noise performance. model a top choice.570 FREEDOM COLLECTION samsung. ft. It has spillproof shelves. at 20.400 Superb temperature control and extremely quiet operation with very good energy efficiency make FROM “It just missed our recommended list.5 cubic feet—and ofers the most keep food fresh. Dual evaporators should help OUR out because it has the largest claimed capacity of any built-in model we’ve ever tested— .

and we’ve adjusted the data to eliminate differences Whirlpool 21% dual evaporators. we found that Electrolux and Frigidaire were the most repair-prone brands of bottom-freezers This very quiet 24. Kenmore 20% controls.2-cu. GE 18% ConsumerReports. a built-in water filter. perature and energy efficiency. Models within a brand may vary. to top-freezers with icemakers. KitchenAid is also the most repair-prone brand of side-by-sides with icemakers.-ft. linked to the age and extended warranty/service contract coverage of the refrigerators. an open-door alarm. model provides Samsung 23% excellent temperature and noise Source: Our findings are based on Consumer Reports’ 2014 Annual Product Reliability Survey of almost 80. model (claimed) provides superb tem.200 Kenmore 12% KitchenAid 29% This 20. freestanding models. PERCENTAGE REPAIRED PERCENTAGE REPAIRED door alarm. formance. It has dual compressors. kitchenaid. KENMORE F3 JENN-AIR JF36NXFXDE MOST & LEAST RELIABLE BRANDS Size tested 83HX42WX26D | $8. Whirlpool and KitchenAid are among the more repair-prone brands as well. spillproof shelves.-ft. Kenmore is among the more reliable bottom-freezers top-freezers ICEMAKER ICEMAKER Electrolux 45% Whirlpool 19% Frigidaire 35% GE 19% KitchenAid 26% Frigidaire 16% Whirlpool 25% Maytag 15% Maytag 22% Kenmore 13% GE 19% NO ICEMAKER LG 19% Frigidaire 12% Kenmore 19% GE 11% Samsung 18% Whirlpool 11% NO ICEMAKER Kenmore 10% Amana 24% Whirlpool 21% side-by-sides F5 KITCHENAID GE 15% WITH ICEMAKER KBBR306ESS Size tested 83HX36WX26D | $8. Each fig- ure represents the percentage of fridges that were repaired or Maytag 22% good. It has dual compres- sors. OR HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS OR HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS and a built-in water filter. All refrigerators in the graphs are Frigidaire 21% spillproof shelves. choosing a brand with a good repair history can improve your odds of getting a reliable model. an open. When it comes along with very good crisper per.500 In our survey of almost 80. had a serious problem.000 readers who LG 22% performance. and digital full-sized. dual evaporators. and design or manufacture changes may affect future reliability. Differences of fewer than 5 points aren’t meaningful. with Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 81 .com Still. jennair.000 readers who bought a new refrigerator between 2010 and 2014.9-cu. energy efficiency and crisper performance are very purchased a new refrigerator between 2010 and 2014.

BUYING GUIDE | refrigerators

Scores in context: Of the 246 refrigerators we tested, the highest scored 87; the lowest, 31. c CR Best Buy d Recommended
Recommended models performed the best overall. CR Best Buys combine value and performance. Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor




Fridge Usable

Height (In.)



SS-Look Option




Width (In.)

Depth (In.)

Capacity (Cu. Ft.)

Ease of Use

Cost/Yr. ($)

Total Usable
Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Freezer Usable
Capacity (Cu.Ft.)



c 1 LG LTCS20220S $950 67 X Z Z V 40 16.7 11.7 5.0 66 30 33 20.2 N
d 2 LG LTCS24223S $1080 67 X Z Z V 44 19.6 13.9 5.7 68 33 33 23.8 N
d 3 GE GIE21GSHSS $1170 67 X Z X V 47 17.7 12.1 5.6 67 33 33 21.2 N
d 4 Frigidaire Gallery FGHI2164QF $1100 65 X Z C B 39 15.0 10.8 4.2 69 30 32 20.5 N
d 5 Frigidaire FFHT2021QS $750 64 X Z X B 43 16.8 12.1 4.7 69 30 32 20.4 N
d 6 Frigidaire Gallery FGHT1846QF $900 64 X Z X V 45 14.4 10.9 3.5 67 30 30 18 N
c 7 GE GTE15CTHRWW $540 64 X Z C V 40 11.6 8.2 3.4 62 28 30 14.6
d 8 Frigidaire FFHI1831QS $880 63 X Z C B 43 14.7 11.2 3.5 66 30 31 18 N
d 9 Kenmore 79433 $1250 62 C Z X V 54 19.4 13.8 5.6 69 33 32 23.5 Int. N
d 10 GE GTE18ISHSS $900 61 X Z C B 43 14.0 9.6 4.3 67 30 33 18.2 N
d 11 Kenmore 78032 $1000 61 C Z X V 52 19.6 14.0 5.6 69 33 32 23.7 N
d 12 LG LTC20380ST $1000 61 C Z X V 46 16.4 11.4 5.0 66 30 32 20.2 N
13 GE GTS18GSHSS $690 60 X Z C V 46 13.4 10.0 3.4 68 28 29 17.5 N
14 Frigidaire FFHT1814QW $600 59 C Z X B 60 15.2 11.7 3.5 66 30 31 18 N
15 Ikea Energisk B18W $500 59 C Z C C 52 13.7 9.9 3.8 69 28 32 17.6 N
16 Maytag MRT711BZDM $1100 58 C Z X V 46 18.1 12.1 6.0 66 33 32 21.2 N
17 Whirlpool WRT511SZDM $1000 58 C Z X V 46 18.1 12.1 6.0 66 33 32 21.2 N
18 Frigidaire FFTR1514RW $510 58 X Z C B 42 13.8 10.6 3.2 61 28 30 14.5
19 GE GIE18GSHSS $850 58 C Z C V 44 13.9 10.3 3.6 67 28 31 17.5 N
20 Whirlpool WRT106TFDW $570 57 C Z C B 42 12.9 9.4 3.5 66 28 32 16
21 Hotpoint HPE15BTHWW $510 54 C Z V B 40 11.6 8.2 3.4 62 28 30 14.6
22 Frigidaire FFTR2131QS $900 53 C Z C B 55 14.4 9.7 4.7 69 30 33 20.5 N
23 Whirlpool WRT549SZDM $820 52 C Z X B 49 16.0 11.5 4.5 66 30 33 19.1 N
24 Hotpoint HPS15BTHLWW $500 50 C X V B 45 11.6 8.2 3.4 62 28 30 14.6
25 Haier HRT18F2APSS $900 50 C Z C V 44 15.1 10.9 4.2 65 30 32 18.1 N
26 Whirlpool WRT318FMDM $720 49 C Z X B 49 15.2 10.6 4.5 66 30 33 18.2 N
27 Whirlpool WRT519SZDM $770 47 C Z X B 53 16.0 11.5 4.5 66 30 33 19.1 N
28 Amana ART308FFDW $700 43 V Z X B 45 16.1 11.2 4.9 66 30 32 18.2 N
29 GE GTE16GTHWW $630 42 V Z C V 38 11.9 8.6 3.3 65 28 30 15.5
30 Maytag MRT519SZDM $770 41 V Z X B 53 16.0 11.5 4.5 66 30 33 19.1 N
31 Frigidaire FFTR1621QW $650 41 C C C B 68 13.3 10.1 3.2 65 28 30 16.3
32 GE GTS16GTHWW $580 38 V Z V V 44 11.9 8.6 3.3 65 28 30 15.5
33 Whirlpool WRT541SZDM $1050 38 V Z X B 49 18.1 12.1 6.0 66 33 32 21.3 N
34 Summit Ingenious Series FF1935PLIM $1500 38 C C C V 93 17.1 12.2 4.9 73 30 27 18.1
35 Frigidaire FFTR1831QS $630 37 V Z V B 53 14.7 11.2 3.5 66 30 31 18 N
36 Frigidaire FFHT1614QW $620 36 V Z C B 47 13.6 10.4 3.2 65 28 30 16.3
37 Maytag MRT318FZDM $720 30 B Z X B 49 15.2 10.6 4.5 66 30 33 18.2 N
38 Frigidaire FFHT1521QW $570 29 B Z C B 36 12.0 8.6 3.4 61 28 30 14.5
d 1 Kenmore Elite 79043 $1,400 83 Z Z Z C 59 17.1 12.3 4.8 69 33 33 23.8 N
d 2 LG LDC24370ST $1,300 83 Z Z Z C 59 17.1 12.3 4.8 69 33 33 23.8 N
d 3 Kenmore Elite 79023 $1,300 81 Z Z Z C 58 15.8 10.9 4.9 69 30 34 21.8 N

How We Test: To measure temperature performance we see how uniformly models maintain 37° F in the fridge and 0° F in the freezer, even as we
crank up the heat in our labs. Storage is also key, so we measure usable capacity, excluding nooks that manufacturers include but we don’t think are
usable. We also measure height, width, and depth (HxWxD), rounded to the nearest inch. Noise is measured with the compressor running. Noise is
how much the unit will cost to run per year based on average electricity prices.





Fridge Usable

Height (In.)


SS-Look Option




Cost/Yr. ($)

Total Usable
Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Freezer Usable
Capacity (Cu.Ft.)



Width (In.)

Depth (In.)

Capacity (Cu. Ft.)

Ease of Use

c 4 Kenmore 69313 $950 80 Z Z Z V 44 13.4 8.9 4.5 66 30 31 18.5 N
d 5 KitchenAid KRBR102ESS $1,550 77 Z Z C V 54 14.9 10.7 4.2 69 33 31 22.1 N
d 6 Maytag MBF2258DEM $1,300 77 Z Z C V 54 14.9 10.7 4.2 69 33 31 22.1 N
d 7 Whirlpool WRB322DMBM $1,260 77 Z Z C V 54 14.9 10.7 4.2 69 33 31 22.1 N
8 Amana ABB2224BRM $1,250 72 Z Z C V 56 15.3 11.1 4.2 69 33 31 21.9 N
9 Amana ABB1924BRM $1,220 71 Z X C V 51 12.5 8.9 3.6 66 30 31 18.5 N
10 KitchenAid KBRS19KCMS $1,300 67 Z C X C 63 12.1 8.6 3.5 67 30 31 18.7 N
11 KitchenAid KRBR109ESS $1,530 67 Z C X C 63 12.1 8.6 3.5 67 30 31 18.7 N
12 Maytag MBF1958DEM $1,260 67 Z C X C 63 12.1 8.6 3.5 67 30 31 18.7 N
13 Whirlpool WRB329DMBM $1,400 67 Z C X C 63 12.1 8.6 3.5 67 30 31 18.7 N
14 GE GDE23GSHSS $1,580 66 X X X V 65 16.2 12.3 3.9 68 33 33 23.2 N
15 GE GDE23ESESS $1,700 65 Z X C V 71 17 12.7 4.3 68 36 33 23.1 N
16 Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart E522BRX5 $1,800 63 X X X V 55 13.4 9.7 3.7 67 32 29 17.5 N
17 GE GDE20GSHSS $1,490 63 X X C V 61 13.7 10.2 3.5 67 30 33 20.4 N
18 Bosch B11CB50SSS $2,150 62 X X X V 38 8.4 5.8 2.6 79 24 26 11.3 N
19 Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170WDRUX5 $2,300 61 X X X C 58 13 9.7 3.3 68 32 28 17.3 Ext. N
20 Fisher & Paykel RF175WCRUX1 $2,000 48 C V X C 65 12.4 9.4 3 69 33 28 17.5 Ext. N
21 Haier HBQ18JAD[W] $900 43 X V V V 76 14.9 10.4 4.5 66 30 32 17.5
d 1 Samsung RF28HDEDPWW $2,700 87 Z Z Z X 70 20 13.3 6.7 69 36 34 27.8 Ext. N
d 2 Kenmore Elite 74093 $2,800 85 Z Z Z X 74 21.5 15.4 6.1 69 36 36 31.7 Ext. N
d 3 LG LFXS32766S $3,600 85 Z Z Z X 74 21.5 15.4 6.1 69 36 36 31.5 Ext. N
c 4 GE GFE26GSHSS $1,990 84 Z Z X X 48 17.1 11.3 5.8 70 36 35 25.7 Ext. N
d 5 GE Profile PWE23KMDES $2,600 84 Z Z X X 47 16 11.1 4.9 69 36 29 23.1 Int. N
c 6 GE GNE29GSHSS $1,800 83 Z Z X X 66 20.9 14.7 6.2 70 36 34 28.7 Ext. N
d 7 Samsung RF28HFPDBSR $2,000 83 Z Z X X 56 20 13.3 6.7 69 36 34 28.1 Ext. N
d 8 Samsung RF30HDEDTSR $2,800 83 Z Z Z X 81 20.9 14.1 6.8 69 36 35 30.2 Ext. N
d 9 GE Profile PFH28PSHSS $2,900 82 X Z X X 57 19.8 13.2 6.6 70 36 36 27.7 Ext. N
d 10 Samsung RF28HDEDBSR $2,400 82 Z Z X Z 62 20 13.3 6.7 69 36 34 27.8 Ext. N
d 11 Samsung RF26HFPNBSR $2,300 82 Z Z C X 55 18.3 13.3 5 69 36 33 25.5 Int. N
c 12 LG LFC24770ST $1,500 81 Z Z Z X 55 17.4 12.6 4.8 69 33 33 23.8 N
d 13 Kenmore Elite 74033 $3,100 81 Z Z X X 68 19.1 13.1 6 69 36 34 29.6 Ext. N
d 14 LG LFXS30766S $2,700 81 Z Z X X 68 19.1 13.1 6 69 36 34 29.6 Ext. N
d 15 LG LFCS31626S $2,000 80 X Z Z X 70 20.8 14.6 6.2 69 36 34 30.6 N
d 16 Samsung RF323TEDB[SR] $2,400 80 Z Z X C 73 21.8 14.7 7.1 69 36 36 31.6 Ext. N
d 17 GE Profile PFE28RSHSS $2,800 80 X Z Z X 73 20.1 13.3 6.8 69 36 35 27.7 Ext. N
d 18 GE Café CYE22USHSS $2,970 80 Z X X X 66 15.1 10.1 5 70 36 30 22.2 Ext. N
19 GE Café CYE22TSHSS $2,800 79 Z X X X 66 15.1 10.1 5 70 36 30 22.2 Ext. N
20 LG LFXS29766S $3,400 79 Z Z Z X 75 19.6 12.8 6.8 69 36 35 28.5 Ext. N
21 Kenmore Elite 71313 $1,600 79 Z Z Z C 59 17.4 12.6 4.8 69 33 33 23.9 N
22 KitchenAid KRFF507ESS $2,900 79 Z X Z X 74 18.3 12.8 5.5 69 36 34 26.8 Ext. N
23 Bosch 800 Series B22FT80SNS $2,100 78 Z Z X V 51 15.5 11.2 4.3 69 33 32 22.1 Int. N
24 Samsung RF261BEAE[SR] $1,400 78 Z Z C X 57 18.6 13.4 5.2 69 36 35 25.5 Int. N
25 Samsung RF20HFENBSR $1,400 78 Z X X C 66 14.8 10.2 4.6 71 32 30 19.4 N
26 KitchenAid KRFF302ESS $2,000 77 Z Z X V 50 15.2 10.9 4.3 69 33 32 21.7 N
27 Whirlpool WRF532SMBM $1,600 77 Z Z X V 50 15.2 10.9 4.3 69 33 32 21.7 N Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 83

BUYING GUIDE | refrigerators




Fridge Usable

Height (In.)

SS-Look Option




Cost/Yr. ($)




Capacity (Cu. Ft.)

Total Usable
Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Freezer Usable
Capacity (Cu.Ft.)

Width (In.)

Depth (In.)

Ease of Use

28 Samsung RF26J7500SR $1,800 77 Z X Z X 68 16.4 11.9 4.5 69 36 34 25.5 Ext. N
29 GE GFE28HSHSS $2,160 77 Z X X X 86 19.4 13.1 6.4 70 36 34 27.7 Ext. N
30 Kenmore 70333 $1,900 77 Z X X X 75 16.4 11.4 4.9 69 36 32 23.9 Ext. N
31 LG LFXS24566S $2,000 77 Z X X X 75 16.9 11.5 4.9 69 36 32 23.9 Ext. N
32 Samsung RF28HFEDBSR $2,650 77 Z X X X 88 20 13.3 6.7 69 36 34 28.1 Ext. N
33 GE GNE26GSDSS $1,800 76 Z Z V X 58 20 13.8 6.2 70 36 34 26.4 N
34 KitchenAid KBFS22ECMS $1,800 76 Z Z X C 51 15.5 11.2 4.3 69 33 32 22.1 Int. N
35 GE GFE27GSDSS $2,400 75 Z Z C X 61 17.6 11.9 5.7 69 36 34 26.6 Ext. N
36 GE Café CFE28TSHSS $3,100 75 X X X X 70 15.1 10.1 5 70 36 35 27.8 Ext. N
37 Samsung RF18HFENBSR $1,250 75 Z X X C 54 13 8.9 4.1 71 33 29 17.5 N
38 LG LFC22770ST $1,400 75 Z X Z C 71 15.4 11.1 4.3 68 30 33 21.8 N
39 Kenmore Elite 74053 $2,800 75 Z X X X 67 15 9.7 5.3 69 36 29 23.5 Ext. N
40 LG LFXC24726S $2,500 75 Z X X X 67 17.4 12.6 4.8 69 36 29 24 Ext. N
41 LG LFX21976[ST] $2,700 74 Z C Z C 63 13.5 9.7 3.8 70 36 28 21 Ext. N
42 Kenmore 71323 $2,100 74 Z X Z X 62 15.3 11 4.3 68 30 33 21.8 Ext. N
43 Samsung RF263BEAE[SR] $1,700 74 Z Z X C 61 17.1 12 5.1 69 36 35 25.6 Ext. N
44 Samsung RF220NCTASR $1,500 74 Z Z X C 56 16 11.4 4.6 67 30 34 21.8 N
45 Frigidaire FFHN2740PS $1,670 74 X Z X C 54 19.1 13.9 5.2 70 36 34 26.5 N
46 Maytag MFT2778EEZ $3,000 73 Z X C X 77 18.3 12.8 5.5 70 36 33 26.8 Ext. N
47 KitchenAid KRFF305ESS $2,000 73 Z Z X V 59 17.4 12.5 4.9 69 36 34 24.8 N
48 Whirlpool WRF535SMBM $1,300 73 Z Z X V 59 17.4 12.5 4.9 69 36 34 24.8 N
49 GE Profile PFS23KSHSS $2,300 73 Z Z C X 52 14.3 10.5 3.8 68 33 33 22.8 Ext. N
50 LG LFX25974ST $1,700 73 Z X X X 71 16.2 11.2 5 69 36 32 24.7 Ext. N
51 Frigidaire FFHB2740PS $1,800 73 X X X C 74 17.5 12.6 4.9 69 36 34 26.6 Ext. N
52 Kenmore 7200[2] $1,200 72 Z X C C 61 14.6 10.4 4.2 70 33 32 21.7 Int. N
53 Bosch 800 Series B22CT80SNS $3,100 72 Z X X V 54 13.9 10.4 3.5 72 36 29 21.9 Int. N
54 Jenn-Air JFC2290V[EP] $2,800 71 Z X X C 57 13.5 10.4 3.1 72 36 28 21.8 Int. N
55 Whirlpool CoolVox WRF991BOOM $2,400 70 X X X X 76 16.4 11.7 4.8 69 36 34 26.8 Ext. N
56 KitchenAid KFIV29PCMS $3,000 69 X X C X 71 17.6 12.4 5.2 70 36 34 28.6 Ext. N
57 Electrolux Wave-Touch EW28BS85K[S] $3,200 69 X X X X 80 18.1 11.9 6.2 69 36 34 27.8 Ext. N
58 Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170ADUSX4 $2,400 69 Z C X C 59 12.6 9.3 3.3 68 32 28 17.2 Ext. N
59 Frigidaire Gallery FGHB2866PF $1,900 68 X X X C 86 18.6 12.3 6.3 70 36 34 27.8 Ext. N
60 Samsung RF23HCEDBSR $3,100 68 C Z X X 81 16 11.1 4.9 69 36 29 22.5 Ext. N
61 Maytag MFF2558DEM $1,550 68 Z X X V 78 17.2 12.4 4.7 69 36 33 25.2 N
62 Whirlpool WRF560SEY[M] $1,600 67 X X X C 57 13.3 9.3 4 68 30 33 19.6 Ext. N
63 Electrolux EI27BS26J[W] $2,200 67 X X X C 75 17.7 12.7 5 70 36 33 26.7 Ext. N
64 Frigidaire Professional FPBS2777RF $2,400 67 X X X C 87 18.2 12.3 5.9 70 36 32 26.7 Ext. N
65 Bosch B26FT70SN[S] $2,650 67 Z C X C 84 16.4 11.2 5.2 70 36 33 25.9 Ext. N
66 LG LFC28768ST $1,700 67 C Z Z C 79 20.1 14.1 6 69 36 33 27.7 N
67 Kenmore Elite 74023 $2,400 67 C X X X 83 19.5 13.5 6 69 36 34 29.8 Ext. N
68 LG LFXS30726S $2,500 67 X X X X 83 19.5 13.5 6 69 36 34 29.8 Ext. N
69 Kenmore 73063 $3,000 66 X X V C 82 18.6 12.9 5.7 69 36 33 26.6 Ext. N
70 Frigidaire Gallery FGHN2866PF $1,950 66 X X X C 85 19.5 13.8 5.7 69 36 31 27.8 N
71 Kenmore 70343 $1,900 65 X X C C 90 18.2 12.2 6 69 36 34 27.1 Ext. N
72 GE Profile PNS20KSHSS $2,200 65 Z C C C 62 12.3 8.9 3.4 66 30 33 20 N
73 GE GNS23GSHSS $1,440 65 X X C C 62 15.3 11.3 4 69 33 33 22.7 N
74 Kenmore 70443 $1,800 64 X X C C 71 14.6 9.9 4.8 69 36 29 21.9 Ext. N
75 Frigidaire Gallery FGHG2366PF $2,200 64 X C X C 74 15.3 11.1 4.2 70 36 29 22.6 N
76 DCS RF195AUUX1 $3,000 61 X C X C 59 12.5 9.1 3.4 69 36 28 19.5 Ext. N
77 KitchenAid KRFC302ESS $3,300 61 Z V Z C 83 14.3 11 3.3 73 36 28 21.9 Int. N

c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor


5 13.6 10.3 6.5 69 36 28 22.800 54 Z V X C 81 13.) Freezer Usable Capacity (Cu.7 5.8 Ext.300 79 Z Z X X 69 19 13 6 69 36 36 30.2 69 36 34 26.5 N d 3 Kenmore Elite 72483 $3.1 69 36 28 23.700 54 X V X C 115 17.850 84 Z Z Z X 70 21.1 Ext.3 Ext. N d 6 Samsung RS22HDHPNSR $2.400 76 X Z Z X 76 19.1 N D.4 14 9. N d 2 Samsung RH25H5611SR $1.000 80 Z Z Z X 64 16.9 14.350 72 X Z Z X 73 21. N 81 Maytag MFC2062DEM $1.3 Ext.2 3.5 Ext. N 83 Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF201ADUSX5 $2.1 11.800 74 X Z X X 53 18. N 13 Whirlpool WRX988SIBM $2. N d 14 Whirlpool WRS586FIEM $1.6 4.8 Ext.9 69 36 34 26.5 12.8 8.1 N 19 Samsung RF24FSEDBSR $3.3 Ext. N 16 KitchenAid KRMF706EBS $4. N d 11 Whirlpool WRS975SIDM $1.5 10.900 83 Z Z Z X 58 18. N d 12 GE GSE22ESHSS $1.3 73 36 34 23.8 69 36 33 24.0 69 36 36 28.2 69 36 34 28. N d 15 GE GSS20ESHSS $1.2 4.8 5.6 10.5 66 33 33 21.900 52 X V X C 83 13.6 13.6 69 36 29 22.9 69 33 34 24.6 Ext.2 13.8 69 36 36 Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 85 .7 Ext. N ConsumerReports.550 43 V Z C V 53 15.6 69 36 36 29. N c 7 Samsung RF28HMEDBSR $2.5 13.4 69 36 34 28.1 73 36 34 23.7 9. N E.700 80 Z Z Z X 73 18.7 4.5 4.7 Ext.6 69 36 33 25.2 Ext.3 69 33 32 22.5 3.0 70 36 35 24.7 6.200 76 X Z X X 53 15.4 6.9 71 36 28 20.9 8.) Depth (In. N d 5 LG LSC22991ST $2. N 20 Blomberg BRFD2650SS $2.1 11.4 6.700 57 Z V C C 65 11.8 Ext.350 74 Z Z C C 54 14.800 79 Z X Z X 58 14.6 8.000 66 X C X C 67 14.2 Ext. N d 9 Samsung RF25HMEDBSR $3.5 Ext.1 15.7 11.Ft. N c 10 GE GSE25ESHSS $1.900 71 X X X X 98 22 13.6 Ext.350 71 X Z C X 63 17.2 70 36 29 22.) Eficiency Ease of Use Claimed C.000 80 Z Z X X 66 16.) Exterior Exterior Exterior Water Stainless/ SS-Look Option Recommended Rank Dispenser Temperature Performance Noise Cost/Yr.8 6.1 68 34 33 21. N d 16 Samsung RH29H9000SR $2.2 68 32 32 19.2 Ext.900 73 Z C Z X 88 17. THREE-DOOR FRENCH-DOORS continued 78 Haier HB21FC45NS $1.6 10. N 21 Blomberg BRFD2650SSN $2.3 4.5 Ext.) Width (In. N d 8 GE Profile PSS28KSHSS $2.9 69 36 37 29.000 71 Z C Z X 88 17.9 12.8 69 36 34 24.260 74 Z Z C C 64 16.1 70 36 33 28.8 13.3 10.6 N 79 Haier HRF15N3AGS $1.980 45 V Z X X 62 16. N d 5 Samsung T9000 RF32FMQDBSR $3.4 69 36 28 20 Ext.3 5.4 5.8 70 36 32 24.500 83 Z Z Z X 70 22.2 Ext.9 5.5 70 36 28 20.330 76 Z X Z X 67 15.600 72 X Z X C 66 18.6 11.1 11.3 Ext.900 82 Z Z Z C 74 21.) Capacity (Cu.2 69 36 34 28.9 Ext.8 Ext. N d 3 LG LSXS26366S $1.3 5.200 73 X Z X X 75 20.400 84 Z Z Z X 99 23.6 70 36 34 26 Ext.9 Ext.2 4.9 5.8 Ext. N 17 Frigidaire Gallery FGHS2655PF $1.1 4.600 53 C X X C 55 14.4 15.9 13.8 Ext. N 84 Frigidaire Gallery FGHF2366PF $1. N d 8 Samsung RF23J9011SR $3. N d 2 LG LPCS34886C $6.7 12.2 Ext.4 5.000 84 Z Z Z C 73 24.2 72 36 36 31. FOUR-DOOR (OR MORE) FRENCH-DOORS d 1 Samsung Chef Collection RF34H9960S4 $5.700 78 Z Z Z X 63 20.1 15.900 59 X C V C 70 14. N 17 Whirlpool WRV986FDEM $3.6 Ext.6 Ext.2 70 36 34 25.7 Ext. N 82 Whirlpool WRF540CWBM $1.4 4.4 10.2 71 28 27 15 N 80 Viking DDFF136D[SS] $3. N d 7 LG LSXS26326S $1.6 Ext.7 70 36 33 25.7 4.8 6.2 Ext.1 11.400 72 X Z X C 61 16.5 Ext.540 72 Z X C C 58 13 8.200 76 X X Z Z 83 17 11.Ft. N d 4 LG LMXS30746S $2.7 8.7 73 36 37 33. N 18 Whirlpool WRS950SIAM $1.1 4.7 13.5 Ext.3 Ext.8 Ext.8 Ext.9 Ext.5 11.7 10. N d 9 GE Profile PSE25KSHSS $1.4 11.8 4.1 10.400 70 X Z X C 70 18 12.4 69 36 34 24.2 3. N 22 Samsung RF28HMELBSR $3.9 Ext. Ft.1 5.5 14 5.800 54 Z V X C 81 13.Ft.000 71 Z C Z X 88 17. N 10 Samsung RF31FMESBSR $3.800 75 X Z C Z 63 16.9 12. N d 4 Samsung RH29H8000SR $2.7 5.7 69 36 36 29.2 70 36 34 25.600 84 Z Z Z X 70 21.2 8 3.1 6 72 36 29 22.5 Ext.7 69 36 36 29.6 11. N 14 Samsung RF30HBEDBSR $3.1 10.4 69 36 28 20 Ext. N 18 Kenmore 72383 $2. N d 6 LG LPXS30866D $3.5 69 36 34 28. N 85 Maytag MFT2574DEM $1.7 8.7 Ext.6 11.4 11.250 31 Z B Z X 158 18.5 69 36 29 21. N d 13 Kenmore 51813 $1.5 11.600 80 X Z Z X 63 19 12 7.7 4.4 10.350 76 X Z X X 64 20.) Capacity (Cu. N 86 Maytag MFF2258DEM $1.7 4 71 36 29 22. N 15 Maytag MFX2876DRM $2. ($) Total Usable Capacity (Cu.9 5.9 69 36 34 26. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Energy Energy Fridge Usable Height (In.500 77 X Z Z X 71 22.9 6.700 58 C X C C 85 17. N 11 LG LMXC23746S $2.600 74 X Z X X 68 17.4 73 36 36 34.9 9.7 3 69 36 28 19.9 5. N 12 Samsung RF23HSESBSR $3.1 Ext. SIDE-BY-SIDES d 1 Samsung RS25H5121SR $1.3 6.7 Ext.100 59 Z C V V 56 11.4 70 36 34 29.7 12.4 7.

6 Ext.3 9.170 61 C Z C C 65 16. N 43 Kenmore 50023 $900 48 C Z C C 60 15.8 10.2 69 36 33 25.4 10.9 Ext.5 10.9 11.8 70 33 32 22 Ext.350 60 X C X X 61 15.3 10.6 Ext.2 4.) Exterior Exterior Exterior Width (In.400 68 C Z Z X 74 18 11.3 4.8 9. N 48 GE GZS22DSJSS $1.7 9.3 70 36 33 25. N 42 Whirlpool WRS335FDDM $1.1 70 36 34 25.) SS-Look Option Depth (In.6 9.6 Ext.2 4.5 N d 5 KitchenAid KBBR306ESS $8.200 45 V Z X X 71 18.8 4.5 2.6 70 36 32 25. BUILT-INS d 1 Miele MasterCool KF1903SF $8.9 5. N 51 Whirlpool WRS325FDAM $1.) Eficiency Ease of Use Claimed E.500 68 X Z C X 59 15.050 65 X X X X 75 14.250 70 X X C X 67 14.700 43 V X X C 63 14 9.6 Ext.5 Ext.500 63 C Z Z X 59 15.120 66 X X C X 83 19.0 69 36 29 21. N 50 Whirlpool WRS576FIDM $1.200 80 Z X Z X 83 36 26 N 14.700 69 X X X X 77 16.2 11 4.7 6. N 35 GE GSS25GSHSS $1.6 Ext. N 41 Amana ASD2575BRS $1.6 3. N 47 Kenmore 51123 $950 43 V Z C C 67 15.9 12. N 36 Samsung RH22H9010SR $2.8 4.000 80 Z Z Z C 83 42 26 N N 17 13 4 N d 3 Jenn-Air JF42NXFXDE $8.5 N 7 Bosch Integra 800 Series B36BT830NS $7.2 69 36 33 24.6 9. N 23 Kenmore Elite 51823 $2.4 Ext.500 80 Z Z Z C 83 42 26 N N 17 13 4 N d 4 Thermador Freedom Collection T36BB820SS $7.8 6.5 66 33 32 21.1 12 6.490 69 X Z C C 67 15.250 59 X C C C 83 14.000 68 X Z C C 60 17.1 5.7 69 36 36 26. N 37 Frigidaire FFHS2322MW $950 60 X X C C 72 15.600 81 Z X Z X 83 36 25 N 14.4 Ext.5 Ext.4 Ext.8 69 36 28 20.1 69 36 33 25.0 69 36 28 21.2 70 33 33 23.1 10.Ft.0 69 33 34 22.) Water Stainless/ Dispenser Recommended Rank Temperature Performance Noise Cost/Yr. N 34 Maytag MSF25D4MDH $1.800 67 C Z X X 47 21. N 30 Kenmore 51133 $1.2 12.7 69 36 34 26.7 69 33 33 22.3 4.) Freezer Usable Capacity (Cu.5 Ext.) Capacity (Cu.5 Ext.4 8.Ft.8 69 36 29 21. N 29 Frigidaire FFHS2622MW $950 66 X Z C C 74 17.1 11.2 69 36 34 24.9 Ext.) Water Dispenser Stainless/ SS-Look Option Performance Width (In. Ft. ($) Total Usable Capacity (Cu.5 6.400 80 Z X Z X 83 36 26 N 14. N 33 Samsung RH22H8010SR $2. Ft.4 10.8 69 36 32 26 Ext.6 69 36 34 25. N 38 Whirlpool WRS571CIDM $1.1 11.3 5.) Capacity (Cu.5 Ext.5 .8 3.7 10.) Depth (In.200 46 C C C C 76 13.2 72 36 28 26.050 52 C Z C C 65 15. Ft.1 4. BUYING GUIDE | refrigerators BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Energy Energy Fridge Usable Height (In.9 3.3 11 5.6 N 8 Thermador Freedom Collection T36BT810NS $8.3 6.7 10.2 69 36 32 25. N 21 Electrolux EI26SS30J[S] $1.300 67 Z C Z X 86 14.2 Ext. N 27 Whirlpool WRL767SIAM $1.9 4.2 Ext. N 25 Kenmore Elite 51773 $1.5 Ext.1 9.3 5.1 70 36 33 26 Ext. N 20 GE GSS23HSHSS $1.4 3.6 Ext.3 66 33 33 22 Ext.5 4.350 42 V X C X 90 18. N 44 Amana ASD2275BRS $1. N BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Exterior Height Temperature Exterior Bottom-Freezer Recommended Exterior Freezer Usable Capacity (Cu.3 5. N 24 Samsung RS25H5000SR $1.4 11.8 69 36 29 20.5 Ext.3 66 33 33 21. N 32 Frigidaire Gallery FGHC2331PF $1.8 70 36 34 26 Ext.) Energy Eficiency Noise Total Usable Capacity (Cu.3 69 36 28 20 Ext.2 4.1 5.6 Ext.7 10.6 5. N 26 Fagor FQ9925XUS $2.4 9.650 66 X X X X 72 13. N 39 Electrolux EI26SS55G[W] $1.1 10 5.6 N 9 Miele MasterCool KF1803SF $8.0 70 36 29 22.500 78 Z C Z X 84 36 25 N 13.3 Ext.6 Ext.8 14 7.1 10.3 70 36 28 21. Ft.5 N d 2 KitchenAid KBFN502ESS $9.5 5.5 N d 6 Jenn-Air JB36NXFXRE $7.1 69 36 33 25.4 3. N 46 Frigidaire FFSS2314QS $950 45 V Z X C 60 15 10.700 55 X C X C 80 13. N 45 Samsung RS261MD[WP] $1.7 4.5 Ext.000 37 V C C C 84 15.) F. N 22 Frigidaire Gallery FGHS2355PF $1.) Fridge Usable Ca- pacity (Cu.6 Ext.8 4.4 Ext.500 65 X Z C C 65 15. N 40 KitchenAid KSF22C4CYY $1.260 51 C Z X C 63 15.800 58 C C X X 90 16 10.8 9. SIDE-BY-SIDES continued 19 Kenmore 51783 $1. N 31 GE Café CZS25TSESS $3.4 Ext.6 5.400 80 Z X Z X 84 36 25 N 14.260 62 X X C C 87 16.8 N c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor 86 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.710 67 X X C X 85 19. N 49 Frigidaire FFSS2614QS $900 43 C C C C 102 18 12.6 5.4 12.000 78 Z C Z X 84 36 25 N 13.4 5. N 28 Whirlpool WRS321CDBM $1.9 11.100 77 Z X Z X 83 30 25 N 11.Ft.2 5.2 5.) Side-by-Side French-Door Style Rank Ease of Use (In.9 12.5 10.8 69 36 34 27.3 69 36 32 24.

9 N A TALE OF TWO FRIDGES What you get when you pay $1.) Fridge Usable Ca- Stainless/ SS-Look Option pacity (Cu.htm 87 .) Water Dispenser BUILT-INS continued 10 Samsung RS27FDBTNSR $6.570 76 X Z Z X 84 48 26 N 20.900 water dispenser.1 7.7 3.000 69 X X Z C 83 36 26 N N 14.300 73 X X Z C 81 36 25 N N 13. but the GE Profile comes with French-door refrigerator. deli. it’s good to know that if you don't have an extra can find top performance in a less expensive door refrigerators have an external ice and $1. upgrades might even be worth the splurge. for meat. you can still get a superb French-door refrigerator.000 more for a refrigerator As French-door refrigerators become more popular. Ft. automatically fills any container.4 4.1 10.) Freezer Usable Capacity (Cu.900.2 3. See our Ratings for the complete list of rec- because of slightly better temperature control.8 4.2 N 21 Dacor Discovery DYF36BFTSR $8.900 GE GE PROFILE $5.1 cubic feet.6 N 19 Sub-Zero BI-42UFD/S $9.8 Ext. Ft. go to: ConsumerReports.5 N 23 Jenn-Air JF36NXFXDE $8.4 3. the $1. including That helped it earn a CR Best Buy distinction. drop-down shelf for tall containers.000 75 Z X Z C 80 36 25 N 13. Ft. But even among midrange French-door refrigerators.3 N 22 KitchenAid KBFN406ESS $8. Both French. Consumer Reports offers some insights. age capacity.) Depth (In.3 11.5 N 13 LG LSSB2791[ST] $ N 12 Liebherr CS2060 $5.2 8.000 for a luxury four-door version that’s GFE26GSHSS PFH28PSHSS huge on storage and innovation. both make compared with its brandmate’s 17.7 N 27 Liebherr HCB1560 $5. It also has a other CR Best Buys from LG and Samsung.6 3.800 69 X X X X 84 42 26 N 16.9 8 2. But our recommended list.5 11 3.5 11 3.160 70 X X X X 83 42 26 N 18. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Exterior Height Temperature Exterior Ease of Use (In. And it features a GE French-door refrigerators recently tested by ergy efficiency and quietness.7 2. the price range for them has also wid- ened.6 Int. N 25 GE Monogram ZIC30GNZII $7. especially if you’re renovating on a tight How They Compare temperature-controlled drawer with settings budget.900 $2.500 for a three-door French-door refrigerator with basic features and limited capacity and more than $1. So is it worth spending more? A pair of Both French-door models offer excellent en. In fact.4 11. You can now spend less than $1.3 13.000 73 Z C Z X 84 30 25 N 12. $1. For more information and Ratings.000 69 Z C X X 84 36 26 N 15.600 67 X C Z C 80 30 24 N 10.8 N 26 Sub-Zero IT36CI $7.5 3.5 8.000 in the budget.3 11.500 72 Z C C X 84 36 26 N N 14 10 4 N 18 Viking VCBB5363ERSS $9.900. N 14 Liebherr CS2062 $5.5 N 24 Sub-Zero BI42SIDS/PH $9. as is The GE GFE26GSHSS.5 6.500 73 Z C Z X 84 30 25 N 12.2 8.) Exterior Bottom-Freezer Side-by-Side French-Door Style Recommended Rank Performance Energy Eficiency Noise Width (In.500 73 Z X X X 84 42 26 17 11 6 Ext.8 12. offering 19. The GE Profile PFH28PSHSS.6 3.5 N 15 Thermador Freedom Collection T30BB820SS $7. so it’s clear that you Now let’s look at the features. you might find two similar models with a price dif- ferential of $1.9 10.4 4 N 20 Viking VCSB5423SS $10. and the edge. which lets you walk away while the machine ommended French-door refrigerators. model scored a couple of points higher overall an LCD display and hands-free precise auto-fill.4 13.6 N 16 Bosch Integra B30BB830SS $6.7 10.050 67 X X C X 80 30 24 N 11.000 or more—nothing to sneeze at. $2.500 69 X X Z C 83 36 26 N N 14. Those are two ends of the extreme. In terms of stor. the pricier GE Profile has a slight Those convenience features are nice.6 N 17 GE Monogram ZIPP360NHSS $8.800 72 X Z X X 83 42 26 N N 17.600 67 X X Z B 83 36 25 N 15.8 cubic feet of usable capacity the extra capacity inside the GE Profile.) Total Usable Capacity (Cu.050 72 Z X C X 83 35 24 N 15. and beverages.


and what we buy and test. simmer- the small sizes. above the cooktop surface. Pro-style ranges usually span 36 inches or more. So we know what it’s like to pay big money 24-inch wide ranges are available for pro-style ranges. Electric radiant smooothtop ranges remain the big sellers. style. but their big broth- ing. including double-oven ranges for the multitasker in all of us. but now we’re seeing many of the same a cooktop and wall-oven combo has its appeal. smaller packages. We test 30-inch and 36-inch pro-style ranges. just as we ers didn’t fare well in our tests. test. Perfect for the At Consumer Reports we buy every range we tight floor plans of urban kitchens. too. Blomberg. Steps to Success 1 PICK A TYPE Freestanding ranges are the most widely used and easiest to install. do with all ranges we Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 89 . They’re big on style but aren’t the best performing ranges we’ve tested. and now Smeg. that’s your call—but we do test and score them on including Bertazzoni. and stainless trim for a lot less money. and there’s no back panel. The smallest ovens in our tests are a little MIELE more than 2 cubic feet. baking. beefy ranges have gotten a lot of love in recent years. broiling. We haven’t tried how quickly they deliver cooktop heat. it’s probably the center- piece. the largest are almost 4 cubic feet. And though Smaller sizes. Even regular ranges now have beefy knobs. the features and design details in much two appliances often cost more than one range. which showcases your backsplash. Slide- in ranges give a custom built-in look and easily slide in between surrounding cabinets. so check the capacity scores in our range Ratings. WHAT’S he range is the workhorse of the kitchen. We measure oven space you can actually use. NEW T and if it’s stylish. ConsumerReports. rugged grates. The oven controls are on the range front. We don’t rate them on style— from a number of manufacturers. but you have more options than ever. 3 FACTOR IN CAPACITY A roomy oven comes in handy when baking or entertaining. CONSIDER THE SIZE 2 Most electric and gas ranges are 30 inch- es wide. Big. and self-cleaning. The oven control panel is usually on the back panel.

Front-mounted touchpads can be easy to bump and reset by accident. CONTROL LOCKOUT It lets you disable the oven controls. FLEXIBLE COOKING SURFACES Continuous grates on gas ranges let you slide. Most smoothtops have expandable (dual or triple) elements that allow you to switch between a large. instead of . especially if there are small children in the house. We recommend it if the electronic oven-control panel is at the front of the range. BUYING GUIDE | ranges Details That Count ELECTRONIC TOUCHPADS Be sure they’re well-placed and visible while you cook. heavy cookware between burn- ers. HOT-SURFACE WARNING LIGHTS This light warns when an element is still hot and is particularly useful on electric radiant smooth. rather than on the back panel. GE JENN-AIR KITCHENAID 90 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. low- power element contained within it. high-power element and a small.

although some have dual-fuel. There is a lot of residual heat. When you turn the knob from Certain ovens. WARMING DRAWER This convenient feature keeps plates and food warm and comes in handy when you’re cooking for a crowd. and burners you can strike a match to light some isn’t. others just have one. Variable broil provides adjustable settings for foods that need slower or faster cooking. CONVECTION control. offering precise simmering and a fifth burner instead of a center section. to get a feel for it. TIMED/DELAYED START This lets you set a time for the electric or gas oven to start and stop cooking. warming element in the center to keep side even oven heating compared with gas ovens. Some ranges have a warning light for each burner. element within it. British thermal units (Btu) per hour.000 Btu). Certain models have a digital countdown our tests have at least one high-power GE display that shows the time left in the cycle. usually electric models. steel cookware is induction-capable. others have two same-size ovens. the pot additional convection heating element. Keep in mind that there’s no There are three types of ranges storage drawer and usually the convection fea. a small burner (about of the food and its distance to the broiler. SELF-CLEANING CYCLE Most use high heat to burn off messes in the ELECTRIC SMOOTHTOP oven. and one or two large ones have more flexibility when using multiple racks.000 Btu). we get it. based on fuel: electric. or in stages. Manufacturers tout more The flame makes it easier to judge the heat. and to quickly move from dishes warm. Certain ranges pair a smaller top oven with a larger oven below. which pairs a gas cooktop convection in both ovens. Most have expandable dual or triple elements that let you switch from a large. so when reducing the temperature it can no clear advantages. especially for baking. All of the models in cooled. especially when compared with a radiant one or more fans to circulate hot air in the oven. GE ConsumerReports. Some stainless.000 Btu or more). Magnetic cookware is needed for smoothtop. An automatic safety lock prevents the Ranges with electric radiant smoothtops door from being opened until the oven has are the popular pick. Some have to the Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 91 . And with most gas especially for large roasts. surface to quickly generate heat directly (about 12. Convec- sticks to the bottom of a pot. Most FIVE OR MORE ranges have four surface burners in three OVEN-RACK POSITIONS ELECTRIC INDUCTION sizes: one or two medium-power burners The more. it will work and the food in it experience that change tion cooking usually reduces cooking time. Certain ranges have a with an electric oven. gas. Both gas and electric have their advantages. You can adjust for the size Electric ranges with an induction cooktop (about 9. VARIABLE BROIL Most electric and gas ovens have it. lower-power GAS These ranges feature a gas cooktop paired If you prefer cooking with gas. DOUBLE OVENS Market Two separate cavities let you roast a turkey in one while baking pies in another and at different temperatures. You’ll find these models in our Response time is particularly quick. the better. and use magnetic coils below the ceramic glass 5. But our tests have found a high setting to a lower one. burner. with an induction cooktop. almost immediately. On the tops. and ture is in the bottom oven. and most foods shouldn’t stay in a cold oven for long. But this feature is not essential—you shouldn’t leave the oven on when it’s unattended. them when your power is out. The capacity of a burner is measured in take a few minutes to really settle at the lower setting. If a magnet strongly high to medium on a gas cooktop. Many midpriced and higher priced ranges use Ratings of electric ranges. DUAL-FUEL high-power element to a small. have an induction to work. with an electric oven.

cook within a certain temperature broiling was samsung. fast heat. broiling. bak. Cooktop heat was fast. The oven is large. and deliver ing. samsung. BUYING GUIDE | ranges d ELECTRIC SMOOTHTOP RECOMMENDED MODELS Recommended ranges can do it all and. broiling. SINGLE-OVEN (30-INCH) | $800 Type SMOOTHTOP. Baking and self- simmer. two. Baking and self-cleaning top range was superb overall. ing two high-power. SINGLE-OVEN FGEF3035RF Type SMOOTHTOP. Sim. It has four sauce or chili at a low job 92 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.400 water to a fast boil. You can cook different foods high-power. broiling was delivering fast cooktop heat and simmering and was one of the few superb. and smoothtop ranges to excel at bak. kenmore. but the foods must cleaning were impressive. The oven are evenly baked and ing two high-power. and self-cleaning is good or better. It simultaneously. Even self-cleaning was superb. includ. The lower oven has con. It was superb at simmering. DOUBLE OVEN NE58F9710WS NE59J7850WS (30-INCH) | $1. They baking were impressive.300 (30-INCH) | $870 This electric smoothtop range was This top-rated freestanding range superb at simmering and delivered This freestanding electric smooth- has four cooktop elements. and self-cleaning. and a steam-clean feature for self-cleaning. impressive at baking.620 Type SMOOTHTOP. self-cleaning. DOUBLE OVEN Type SMOOTHTOP. and steam-cleaning. and dozens of cookies that has four cooking elements. The large oven was ing. DOUBLE-OVEN ranges will bring pasta (30-INCH) | $1. from a single oven to dual cavities. it’s at the Though this model has one oven This freestanding model was a big batch of spaghetti top of our Ratings of double-oven cavity and a single door.800 (30-INCH) | $1. hold The only electric smoothtop range to ace all of our tests. and many are excellent—nice if you enjoy a good steak or burgers. has a large capacity and a slide-in element. with a divider that splits the oven in cooktop elements. do not have brand reliability problems. and partition that converts the cavity nicely browned. CR Best Buys are recommended ranges that combine impressive B1 KENMORE B2 LG LRE3083SW B3 FRIGIDAIRE GALLERY performance and value. 95052 Type SMOOTHTOP. lg. mering. It excelled at were impressive. light cleaning. including one delivering fast cooktop heat. and a warming range. based on our survey of thousands of . all do at least an okay lg. The oven has convection superb simmering. A1 LG LDE3037BD A2 SAMSUNG A3 SAMSUNG The recommended Type SMOOTHTOP. it comes superb at simmering. frigidaire. SINGLE-OVEN (30-INCH) | $1.

though still larger oven below. This slide-in induction range was mering. and This slide-in induction range was superb B4 GE CAFÉ CS980STSS D2 KENMORE 95103 D3 SAMSUNG D4 BOSCH HIIP054U Type kenmore. excellent overall and offers fast top heat and excellent simmering. SINGLE-OVEN Type INDUCTION. a warming element. is one of the burners. DOUBLE-OVEN when you use it and fast response (30-INCH) | $1.) It has four surface TEST PROGRAM LEADER and extras include convection and smart features that work with Android smartphones with NFC. Sim- mering was superb. and ers. Total oven capacity is large Type INDUCTION. including two high power least expensive ranges we’ve tested which delivered fast heat.530 —TARA CASAREGOLA. ConsumerReports. includ. Baking. this freestand- ing smoothtop range has four a bit of a splurge. and self-cleaning were very D1 KENMORE 95073 good. lg.640 when you adjust the heat. such A4 LG LDE4415ST as the surface not getting as hot Type bosch-home.330 This model was excellent at sim. A slide-in parti.400 Type INDUCTION. but not as fast as But the oven was smaller than most ing one high-powered. ELECTRIC INDUCTION FROM OUR EXPERTS “Induction cooking surfaces perform really well in our tests and have other advantages. The Pairing a smaller top oven with a Kenmore 95073. It has five cooking elements. This induction range has four burn. including two high-power. share the one oven door. It has four geappliances. featuring an induction surface. and self-cleaning was so-so. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) | $2.” ing. tion converts the cavity from a cooktop heat.550 (30-INCH) | $1. and broiling. cooktop elements. induction ranges we tested and oven equipped with three are high-power. broil. samsung.200 (30-INCH) | $3. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) | $1. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 93 . delivering fast cook- impressive at fast cooktop heating. and a large single oven to dual cavities (that the other induction ranges tested. DOUBLE OVEN NE58H9970WS Type INDUCTION. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) | $3.

com warming drawer is a nice touch. fast heat. and was impressive. baking.500 (30-INCH) | $4. SINGLE OVEN KDRS407VSS (30-INCH) | $1.140 Top-rated. TEST PROGRAM LEADER and broiling were impressive.100 vection 94 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Even broiling superb at simmering and delivered with an electric oven.550 Type DUAL-FUEL. this freestanding gas It's a slide-in range so it costs a lot double-oven range pairs a smaller Unlike most gas ranges tested. It also F7 GE PGB911ZEJSS has plenty of oven space and a con- Type GAS. geappliances.500 Type GAS. more than the other top picks. d RECOMMENDED MODELS GAS E1 LG LDG4315ST F1 SAMSUNG F3 GE PGS920SEFSS G1 KITCHENAID Type GAS. including two high-power. 36-inch model is and a nifty built-in tops among the “pros” and pairs a center griddle feature. and baking —TARA CASAREGOLA. Simmering was superb. It pairs a gas cooktop It has five burners. PRO-STYLE (30-INCH) | $1. The oven has the oven is not as large as those in lg.300 brand repair history.There This range outperformed all others top oven with a larger oven geappliances. This dual-fuel. good Type DUAL-FUEL. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) | $2. delivering im- high-power. DOUBLE OVEN NX58F5700WS Type GAS. PRO-STYLE (36-INCH) | $7. Simmering. including two and superb baking. It has five burners. this one offers fast cooktop heat are five burners and they were of its type. most mainstream gas ranges and FROM OUR EXPERTS “The GE PGB911ZEJSS range has a lot to ofer at H1 KITCHENAID a moderate price: high KDRU763VSS performance. The impressive at baking.” gas cooktop with an electric oven. But self-cleaning were very good. kitchenaid. a convection broiling was . The oven is large and pressive performance overall. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) | $1.

640 81 Z Z X X Z X 2 0 2 N N 5 GE Profile PB960SJSS $1.Ratings Scores in context: Of the 102 ranges tested. we time how long the highest-powered burner takes to bring a 6-liter pot of water to a near boil. pie illing.400 83 Z Z X Z X X 2 0 2 N N N d 7 GE PS920SFSS $1.800 85 X Z X Z X Z 1 2 1 N N N d 3 Samsung NE59J7850WS $1. And then it gets messy: We test the oven’s ability to remove a baked-on mix of cheese.440 72 Z Z X C C X 2 0 2 N N N 14 GE JB650SFSS $800 70 Z Z C X Z Z 2 0 2 N 15 Kenmore 41313 $2. CR Best Buys combine performance and value.600 68 Z Z C X Z Z 2 0 2 N N 8 Kenmore 97613 $1. eggs. and other stuf on the self-cleaning setting.200 51 C C C Z Z B 2 0 2 N 4 Whirlpool WFC340S0AW $700 44 X Z X B X X 2 0 2 N How We Test: To test high cooktop heat. we measure usable space. To test how evenly the ovens bake. DOUBLE OVEN (30-INCH) d 1 LG LDE3037BD $1.000 63 X X X C Z B 2 0 2 N N 21 Whirlpool WFE715H0ES $720 62 X X Z X Z B 2 0 2 N N 22 Samsung NE59J3420SS $630 59 X C C C Z X 2 0 2 N N 23 Frigidaire FFEF3013LS $500 48 X Z V C C NA 2 0 2 N C. 23. Recommended ranges offer top performance and don’t have brand-reliability problems. we bake cakes and cookies on two oven racks. Note that dual-fuel ranges pair a gas cooktop with an electric oven. ConsumerReports.530 74 Z Z C C Z Z 1 2 1 N N 6 Kenmore 97312 $1. and how well the highest-power burner. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) d 1 Kenmore 95052 $1.550 86 X Z Z Z Z C 1 2 2 N N d 5 GE Profile PB911SJSS $890 85 Z Z X X Z Z 2 0 2 N N d 6 Samsung NE58F9500SS $1.700 71 Z Z C C Z Z 2 1 1 N N 7 Kenmore 97212 $1. SMOOTHTOP.400 82 X Z X Z Z X 1 2 1 N N d 4 LG LDE4415ST $1.300 66 Z X X V C Z 2 0 2 N N 20 KitchenAid KFEG500ESS $1. set on low.800 79 Z Z X Z C C 2 0 2 N N N 11 Kenmore 94242 $1.200 70 Z X X X C Z 2 0 2 N N 16 Maytag MER8800DS $900 68 Z Z Z X Z B 2 0 2 N N 17 Whirlpool WFE515S0ES $550 67 X X X V C Z 2 0 2 N 18 Frigidaire Gallery FGES3065PW $1.300 87 Z Z Z X X Z 2 0 2 N N d 2 LG LRE3083SW $800 86 Z Z X Z Z X 2 0 2 N N d 3 Frigidaire Gallery FGEF3035RF $870 86 Z Z X Z X Z 2 0 2 N N d 4 GE Café CS980STSS $2. the highest scored 89.600 66 Z Z C V C C 2 0 2 N N N 19 Frigidaire FFES3025PW $1. c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Recommended Rank Cooktop High wwCooktop Low Baking Broiling Oven Capacity Self-Cleaning High-Power Ele- ments Medium-Power Elements Low-Power Ele- ments Convection Mode Slide-In Stainless Steel Available A. We broil a pan of burgers to ind out how evenly they brown and to check high-heat searing. ELECTRIC COIL c 1 Kenmore 94142 $560 81 X Z X C Z Z 2 0 2 N 2 GE JB250DFWW $470 69 X X C X Z Z 2 2 0 3 Whirlpool WEC530H0DS $1.800 83 Z Z X X Z Z 1 2 1 N N N d 8 Whirlpool WFE905C0ES $900 81 Z Z X X X X 2 0 2 N N 9 Frigidaire FFEF3018LW $540 79 X Z X C Z Z 2 0 2 N 10 Bosch HEI8054U $1.400 60 X Z C C Z Z 2 0 2 N Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 95 . SMOOTHTOP. To evaluate oven capacity. we note how well the lowest-powered burner keeps a low temperature. the lowest. For low cooktop heat. holds tomato sauce below a boil. Below are ranges in order of performance in eight categories. as for melting chocolate. Price is approximate retail.000 78 Z Z C Z X Z 2 0 2 N N 12 Samsung NE59J7630SS $750 76 Z X X Z Z Z 2 0 2 N N 13 Kenmore 42549 $1.620 89 Z Z Z Z Z Z 2 0 2 N N d 2 Samsung NE58F9710WS $1.

200 73 C Z X X Z C 2 2 1 N N d 5 Kenmore 74132 $700 71 X X X C X Z 2 2 1 N d 6 Samsung NX58F5500SS $800 71 C Z X C Z C 2 2 1 N d 7 GE PGB911ZEJSS $1.700 77 Z Z X X Z X 2 0 2 N N E.400 88 Z Z X Z Z Z 2 1 1 N N d 3 Samsung NE58H9970WS $3.500 79 X Z Z X X X 2 2 1 N N d 2 Samsung NX58H9500WS $2. SINGLE OVEN (30-INCH) d 1 Samsung NX58F5700WS $1.300 52 X C X V X V 2 2 1 N N 4 Kenmore 78043 $1.200 68 X Z X C X X 2 2 1 N N 10 LG LRG4113ST $1.100 69 X Z X C X C 2 3 0 N N 8 Kenmore 74332 $1.000 53 C C Z V Z B 2 2 1 N N 20 GE Café C2S985SETSS Dual-Fuel $2.400 68 C X X X C V 3 1 0 N N 3 Dacor DR30G $3.000 57 X Z C V Z V 2 2 1 N N 3 Samsung NX58J7750SS $1.550 73 X Z Z C X C 1 3 1 N N N d 4 Samsung NX58H5600SS $1. PRO-STYLE GAS AND DUAL-FUEL (30-INCH) d 1 KitchenAid KDRS407VSS Dual-Fuel $4.700 51 X Z V C X V 2 2 1 N N 21 Whirlpool WEG760H0DS $1.000 62 C Z Z V C X 3 0 1 N N 7 NXR DRGB3001 $2.000 28 C B C C C C 2 2 1 N N G. ELECTRIC INDUCTION d 1 Kenmore 95073 $1.530 89 Z Z X X X Z 2 1 1 N N d 2 Kenmore 95103 $1. GAS AND DUAL-FUEL.300 44 C C X V C C 1 2 1 N N 25 Frigidaire Gallery FGGS3065PW $1.275 49 X X C V C X 2 2 1 N N F.200 81 Z Z X Z C C 2 2 0 N N N d 5 Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF $1.800 79 Z Z X X X X 3 0 1 N N 7 Samsung NE595N0PBSR $1.800 57 C C X Z C C 2 1 2 N N N 17 KitchenAid KSGG700ESS $1.000 55 X C C X X X 4 0 0 N N c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor 96 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z .700 48 C C X C Z B 2 2 1 N N 22 Frigidaire FFGF3017LW $550 46 C X C V C NA 1 2 1 23 Whirlpool WFG715H0ES $800 45 C V Z V Z B 2 2 1 N N 24 Frigidaire FFGS3025PW $1.040 68 X X X C X X 2 2 1 N N 9 Kenmore 75232 $1.140 72 X Z X C C X 3 0 1 N N 2 Wolf DF304 Dual-Fuel $6.700 57 C Z X C Z B 2 2 1 N N 18 Frigidaire FFGF3023LS $700 53 C Z Z B X Z 1 2 1 N 19 Maytag MGR8800DS $1.000 60 C Z C C C NA 4 0 0 N N 8 Miele HR1124 $5.500 73 X X X C X X 2 2 1 N N 2 GE Café CGS990SETSS $3.940 65 X X X X X X 1 2 1 N N 6 Jenn-Air JGRP430WP $4.200 67 X Z C C X C 2 2 1 N N 11 LG LRG3081ST $800 64 C X X C X C 2 2 1 N N 12 Bosch HDI8054U Dual-Fuel $2.300 63 C X X Z C C 2 1 2 N N N 13 GE Café CGS985SETSS $2.000 77 X Z X X X X 2 2 1 N N N d 3 GE PGS920SEFSS $2. BUYING GUIDE | ranges BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Recommended Rank Cooktop High wwCooktop Low Baking Broiling Oven Capacity Self-Cleaning High-Power Ele- ments Medium-Power Elements Low-Power Ele- ments Convection Mode Slide-In Stainless Steel Available D. GAS AND DUAL-FUEL.540 81 Z Z X C X X 2 1 1 N N 6 Electrolux EI30IF40LS $1.700 65 C Z X C Z C 1 3 0 N N 5 Kenmore Pro 79523 Dual-Fuel $2.100 66 C Z C C X NA 3 1 0 N N 4 GE Monogram ZGP304NRSS $4.250 33 X B X V C C 3 1 1 N N 27 Kenmore 32363 $2.500 43 X C C V C V 2 1 1 N N N 26 Frigidaire Professional FPGH3077RF $2.250 61 X Z X V X V 2 2 1 N N 14 Whirlpool WFG530S0ES $650 60 C C X V X X 2 2 1 N N 15 GE JGB660SEJSS $700 59 X Z C C X X 2 2 1 N 16 Bosch HDIP054U Dual-Fuel $2.330 86 X Z X Z X Z 3 1 0 N N N d 4 Bosch HIIP054U $3. DOUBLE OVEN (30-INCH) d 1 LG LDG4315ST $1.

KitchenAid. LG. and KitchenAid. Whirlpool. PRO-STYLE GAS AND DUAL-FUEL (30-INCH) continued 9 Thermador PRG304GH $4. and Maytag were among the more repair-prone gas ranges.600 32 X B C V X NA 3 1 0 N N H. Those brands are meaningfully less reliable than LG. Models within a brand can vary.900 45 C Z V V C NA 3 1 0 N N G.000 59 C Z C V X NA 5 1 0 N N 6 NXR DRGB3602 $3.500 72 C Z X C X X 4 0 0 N N 3 Thermador PRG366JG $7. GE choosing a brand with a good repair history can improve your odds of getting a reliable model. Differences of fewer than 4 percentage points are not meaningful.500 52 X Z V V C NA 4 0 0 N N 10 Smeg C30GGXUI $3. and design or manufacture changes might affect future reliability.500 25 X B V B C NA 3 0 2 N N 10 Smeg C36GGXU $3.100 43 C X C C V NA 1 1 2 N N 13 Viking RVGR33015BSS $4. In our survey of 6.200 68 X Z X X C V 4 0 0 N N 5 Wolf GR366 $6. Frigidaire. GE/GE Monogram is meaningfully better than 56 C Z C C C NA 6 0 0 N N 7 Jenn-Air JGRP436WP $5. PRO-STYLE GAS AND DUAL-FUEL (30-INCH) 12 Bertazzoni PRO304GASX $3. Kenmore. The graph shows the estimated failure rates for 3-year-old electric and gas ranges by brand that were purchased new. no brand stood out as the most or least reliable electric range. However.600 29 C B V C Z NA 5 0 1 N N 9 Verona VEFSGE365SS Dual-Fuel $2. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Recommended Rank Cooktop High wwCooktop Low Baking Broiling Oven Capacity Self-Cleaning High-Power Ele- ments Medium-Power Elements Low-Power Ele- ments Convection Mode Slide-In Stainless Steel Available G.htm 97 . go to: ConsumerReports.114 owners of gas ranges purchased new between 2010 and 2015.200 43 C Z X B X X 5 0 1 N N 8 BlueStar RCS36SBSS $3.880 owners of electric ranges purchased new between 2010 and 2015. For more information and Ratings.000 45 X C C V V NA 1 4 0 N N 11 Wolf GR304 $4.500 68 X Z X C Z B 6 0 0 N N 4 Viking VGSC536-4G $7.600 40 X Z V C V V 3 2 0 N N 14 American Range ARR304 $3. and GE/GE Monogram.200 23 C B V V V NA 1 1 4 N N MOST & LEAST RELIABLE BRANDS In our survey of 6. PRO-STYLE GAS AND DUAL-FUEL (36-INCH) d 1 KitchenAid KDRU763VSS Dual-Fuel $7.300 74 X Z X X X X 3 0 1 N N d 2 GE Monogram ZDP364NDPSS Dual-Fuel $7. PERCENTAGE LIKELY TO BREAK BY 3RD YEAR ELECTRIC RANGES GAS RANGES KitchenAid 12% Maytag 12% LG 10% KitchenAid 12% Samsung 10% Whirlpool 11% Maytag 8% GE 7% Kenmore 8% Kenmore 7% Frigidaire 7% Frigidaire 6% Whirlpool 7% LG 5% GE 5% Source: Our findings are based on Consumer Reports’ 2015 Summer Product Reliability Survey. Still.

THE MODELS THAT TOP OUR TESTS CAN DO IT ALL. Most cooktops are gas or conventional smooth- top electric. especially for entertaining.000 or so. The downside of a cooktop and wall-oven combo is price. Sounds handy. but $2. pricier doesn’t always mean better. BUYING GUIDE | cooktops Cooktops FROM FAST BOILING TO GENTLE SIMMERING. but you can often find a great range for about half that price. For example. you could place the wall oven at a height that eliminates the bending a range requires.000 is a lot to pay for an occasional . You might pay as little as $2. WHAT’S NEW “Invisible” induction. and you have more choice about where you install the appliances. IN STYLE tyle and flexibility are the biggest attractions S when replacing your range with a cooktop and wall-oven combo. But induction technology is growing in popularity as prices fall. When you place induction-compatible cookware on top of the trivet and select a temperature. See our Ratings to find a model that matches the best perfor- mance and price. Viking’s Incogneeto Induction Warmer can be mounted underneath your stone or engineered stone countertop in a drawer and will turn the countertop itself into a cooktop with the help of a “Magneeto 2” trivet (shown below) that comes with the burner and an electrical connection. 98 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. the Magneeto 2 acts as a temperature sensor and wireless communicator. The look is modern. And we’ve found that with cooktops.

but we’re talking 2 to 4 minutes faster to bring about 6 quarts of water to a near boil. But you may find it easier to judge heat by the appearance If you’d like to interact of the gas flame. CHOOSE A FUEL 2 Whether you pick electric or gas may depend on the type of fuel available where you live. 3 WEIGH THE FEATURES If you often cook for a crowd. in an island so that you Electric elements tend to heat faster can face out. don’t worry that you’ll have to sacrifice performance: Both are capable TIP of delivering fine results. But you’ll find cooktops ranging from 21 to 48 inches. offering speedy response and control. WOLF ConsumerReports. consider the pot and the food in it experience that placing your cooktop change almost immediately. Touch-sensitive controls on smoothtops are sleek. and when you turn the with family and friends knob from high to medium on a gas model. and maintain low heat better than gas burners. or on which type your appliances already use. In our tests no other technology was faster. Steps to Success Consider your space and your family’s cooking habits as you choose your new cooktop 1 PICK A SIZE Most cooktops are 30 or 36 inches wide. Electric induction cooktops use an electromagnetic field to directly heat pans. as you cook. but some are more finicky and less intuitive than conven- tional knobs. so that’s what we test. If switching fuel type is not an option. but we’ve found that they don’t always deliver faster heating. look for at least one high-power cooktop element or burner to heat large pots and pans more quickly.. Electric smoothtop cooktops are relatively easy to clean but require a special cooktop cleaner (available at most grocery stores) and can be damaged by dropped pots and spilled foods. Some have five or six Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 99 . Manufacturers tout burners’ high Btu/hr.

GAS 1 2 3 GE 100 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.) On gas cooktops oval burners accommodate griddles and elongated pans. each Most smoothtops have an expandable burner the surface and can limit the area cookware can element should have a separate warning light. or odd-shaped cookware such as a griddle. Some cooktops controls provide a flat. (In some. one knob or touch control then operates both. been turned off. BUYING GUIDE | cooktops Details That Count Look for these features to ensure that your new cooktop is safe and easy to use HOT-SURFACE WARNING EXPANDABLE ELEMENTS. CONTROLS INDICATOR LIGHTS BRIDGE. Ideally. that lets you choose the size burner that best cover. Electric models with touch-sensitive It’s an important safety feature. and without the indicator it can two burners to accommodate rectangular be difficult to tell at a glance. the cooking matches the pot’s diameter. AND OVAL BURNER On cooktops the controls take up space on Many smoothtops have at least . surface can remain hot long after an element has have an elongated bridge element that spans but they can be finicky. easy-to-clean surface.

and dropped pots and sugary liquids can damage them. and some isn’t. so when ELECTROLUX reducing the heat it can take a few minutes to really settle at the lower setting. There is a lot of residual heat. we get it. low-power element within it. the pot and the food in it experience that change almost immediately. it will work with an induction cooktop. All of the models we tested have at least one high-power burner. When you turn the knob from high to medium on a gas cooktop. offering precise simmering and control. Magnetic cookware is needed for induction to work. GAS If you prefer cooking with gas. or gas. ConsumerReports. If a magnet strongly sticks to the bottom of a pot. Response time is particularly quick. ELECTRIC INDUCTION Electric induction smoothtops use magnetic coils below the ceramic glass surface to quickly generate heat directly to the pan. INDUCTION On the Market Choose from electric smoothtop. Smoothtops do make it easy to clean up spills but require ELECTRIC a special cleaner. Most have expandable dual or triple elements that let you switch from a large. ELECTRIC SMOOTHTOP Electric radiant smoothtops are the popular pick. high-power element to a small. And with most VIKING gas burners you can strike a match to light them when your power is out. electric induction smoothtop. The flame makes it easier to judge the heat and to quickly move from a high setting to low. FPO You’ll see these models in our Ratings of electric Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 101 . Some stainless steel cookware is induction-capable. especially when compared with a conven- tional smoothtop. Each has its advantages.

and low-heat and pans. geappliances. from $650 to $5. a large pan. The two left burners size. accommodating up to four could make it easier to can be used as one large burner items.260 This smoothtop delivers precise Fast heating and precise simmer. It delivers fast heat and tend pots in the back. and Whirlpool. ELECTRIC SMOOTHTOP geappliances.440 kenmore. There the surface and it adjusts auto.000. Jenn-Air. BUYING GUIDE | cooktops d ELECTRIC INDUCTION RECOMMENDED FROM MODELS OUR Want a cooktop that quickly brings a large EXPERTS pot of pasta water F4 KENMORE 43800 to a boil but can 30-inch INDUCTION | $1. simmering and fast heat. CR Best Buys 99 out of 100. this cooktop scored There are no set elements on this readers. —TARA CASAREGOLA. flexibility to function as smaller including two high-power. Two able to accommodate larger pots elements to fit various-sized pots burners to the left can be used and pans. so use our Ratings to find the cooktop that meets D1 KITCHENAID D2 JENN-AIR JEC4430BS D3 GE PROFILE KECC604BBL Type 30-INCH SMOOTHTOP | $1. GE. Touch controls and together to accommodate performance are excellent. including Bosch. Recommended cooktops are excellent cooktops are top performers. this smoothtop cooktop ing put this model ahead of the are four thermador. The cooktops difer greatly in price.800 Type 36-INCH INDUCTION | $5. Type 30-INCH SMOOTHTOP | $750 Type 30-INCH SMOOTHTOP | $1. High. so it’s scoring and all come hard to pick one. kitchenaid. high-power. zigzag element pattern are recommended are four burners. two are high-power and one with the fast heat. The touch- performance and other big 102 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z . and the simmering and fast heat. There Overall.” combine impressive when cooking with a griddle or superb simmering. including two excels at simmering and delivering TEST PROGRAM LEADER value. Thermador.000 of thousands of has three high-power Top-rated. delivering precise cooktop: Place a pot anywhere on elements. including three matically to the pot’s shape and cooktops that high-power. well-priced Kenmore F1 GE CAFÉ CHP9530 G1 THERMADOR CIT36XKB based on our survey is tempting since it Type 30-INCH INDUCTION | $1. screen controls are fairly intuitive. Viking. We test major brands. This from reliable also gently simmer tomato sauce? You’ve come to the right “All the tested induction place. There are five burners.400 PP9030SJSS your needs and budget. and one is expand. stainless trim are part of the deal. It has four elements.

It has five elements. GAS D4 KENMORE TURBO-BOIL 45313 Type 30-INCH SMOOTHTOP | $ Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 103 . and center. two are high-power. It has five burners. Thermador (below).com KECC664BSS Type 36-INCH SMOOTHTOP | $1. delivering WCG97US0DS ZGU385NSMSS fast heat and superb simmering. this model is superb at simmering and delivering brisk heat. including Type 30-INCH GAS | $ —TARA cleaning. There are four elements. and one that’s This top pick provides superb This model delivers superb grates provides excellent low- expandable to accommodate simmering. It has an “AutoChef” feature that uses a special pan and a sensor to automate some tasks. but only one is high- power.500 This cooktop with continuous two high-power. rear. At 36 inches wide. including two high. but heating isn’t heat and very good high-heat a larger pot. Touch controls and stain- less steel trim offer a sleek look. Type 36-INCH GAS | $1. and a warming element. hinged grates make for easy continuous grates. It has five burners. as fast as with the top-rated performance.900 E1 KITCHENAID D5 BOSCH NETP066SUC Type 30-INCH SMOOTHTOP | $1. of this group.” kitchenaid. and center. mounted knobs. Knobs are center-mounted. TEST PROGRAM LEADER ConsumerReports. but it isn’t the fastest simmering. and I like simmering and fast geappliances. OUR that it has large burners in the front.200 This electric smoothtop cooktop A1 WHIRLPOOL B2 GE MONOGRAM B3 KENMORE 32713 is excellent overall.200 Excellent overall. whirlpool. simmering is superb. The stainless trim adds style. B1 THERMADOR SGSX365FS Type 36-INCH GAS | $1. There are five kenmore.080 “I’d pick the 36-inch Thermador SGSX365FS gas cooktop. $1. kenmore.800 Type 36-INCH GAS | $1. and Center-mounted controls and burners (three are high-power). this electric smoothtop cooktop delivers superb FROM Fast heating and excellent simmering make it versatile. so you can keep pots up front for stirring and tending or tuck them away at one of which is high-power.215 There are five elements. EXPERTS the back for long simmering.

as for melting chocolate. Price is approximate retail. 30-INCH GAS COOKTOPS more reliable than KitchenAid gas or electric cooktops. no brand stood out as most or least reliable.000 38 X B 3 1 1 N N C. But induction models the engineer who conducts our tests aren’t cheap.100 1 2 2 54 X V N N Bosch 4% 10 Jenn-Air JGD3536BS $2. so here’s what you’ll of cooking appliances. want to know before you shop.920 44 X B 3 2 1 N N N How We Test: To test high cooktop heat. Ins and Outs of Induction Every induction range and What induction is— cooktop Consumer Reports has and what it isn’t tested delivers fast cooktop heat There’s a difference between and superb simmering. we note how well the lowest-powered burner keeps a low temperature.215 79 X Z 2 2 1 N N Jenn-Air 7% d 4 GE Café CGP650SETSS $1. and how well the highest-power burner. RELIABLE BRANDS c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES In our survey of 5. set on low. BOSCH 104 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. the highest scored 99. the lowest.350 60 C C 2 2 1 N N FPGC3677RS GE 5% 9 KitchenAid KCGS556ESS $1. 36-INCH GAS COOKTOPS GAS COOKTOPS d 1 Thermador SGSX365FS $1.100 74 X X 2 2 1 N N Wolf 7% 6 Wolf CG365P/S $2. CR Best Buys combine performance and value. Below are LEAST high-scoring models in order of performance in each category. Rank High Heat Low Heat High-Power Burners Medium-Power Burners Low-Power Burners Stainless Steel Glass Ceramic Grates Porcelain Enamel Continuous gas and electric cooktops. d 1 Whirlpool WCG97US0DS $900 80 C Z 1 3 1 N N 2 GE PGP953SETSS $990 64 C X 1 3 1 N N PERCENTAGE LIKELY TO 3 Kenmore 32683 $990 62 X C 2 2 1 N N BREAK BY 3RD YEAR B. we time how long the highest-powered burner takes to bring a 6-liter pot of water to a near boil. 47.750 62 X C 3 2 0 N N Kenmore 5% 8 Frigidaire Professional $1. However.440 77 C Z 1 3 1 N N d 5 LG LSCG366ST $1.000 2 3 0 64 X C N N Whirlpool 6% 7 Miele KM3474GSS $1. The surface an electromagnetic coil below elements on an induction the glass cooktop surface that model heat pots by using an generates heat directly to the electromagnetic field rather than by pan.976 owners of Rec. BUYING GUIDE | cooktops MOST & Ratings Scores in context: Of the 55 cooktops we tested. That’s induction and conventional because induction models have electric smoothtops. says Tara Casaregola. For low cooktop heat. Kenmore elec- tric cooktops are meaningfully A. Recommended models offer top performance and don’t have brand-reliability concerns. offering precise simmering radiant heat. and control.500 80 C Z 3 2 0 N N Thermador 8% d 3 Kenmore 32713 $1. holds tomato sauce below a . 36-INCH GAS RANGETOP 1 Kenmore Pro Slide-in 34913 $1.900 81 X Z 3 2 0 N N GE Monogram KitchenAid 8% d 2 ZGU385NSMSS $1.

So if you’re using several need an analog thermometer.440 99 Z Z 3 1 0 N serious unrepaired problems by the third d 3 Bosch NIT5066UC $1.260 92 Z Z 2 2 1 N N d 4 Kenmore Turbo-boil 45313 $1. but pots will get very hot while cooking. And no other technology to the surface below and around digital thermometer. But induction elements. we’re talking 2 to 4 minutes faster get very hot. you boil. go to: ConsumerReports. Plus an induction settings.500 75 C Z 1 2 1 N N Source: Our findings are based on Consumer Reports’ 2015 Summer Product E. and when you “And we often hear clicking of Not all cookware a warning. If The induction advantage surface stays cooler than a radiant cooling fan for the electronics. TIP flames and other special lights as it won’t get hot. fastest induction elements. so you may the base of the pan: that we’ve tested is faster than the the pot.215 95 Z Z 2 0 2 N G. 36-INCH INDUCTION COOKTOPS d 1 Thermador CIT36XKB $5.967 owners of d 1 KitchenAid KECC664BSS $1. Life changing? Probably not.” Casaregola says.000 92 Z Z 2 1 1 N N 2 Jenn-Air JIC4536XS $2. That’s why manufacturers are adding virtual However. which should make whether your pots 240-volt outlet. modern problem.htm 105 .150 88 X Z 1 3 2 N cooktops purchased new and not covered by F. Each rate represents the d 1 GE Café CHP9530 $1.200 91 Z Z 2 0 3 N N Whirlpool 4% d 5 Bosch NETP066SUC $1.260 95 Z Z 3 1 0 N d 6 KitchenAid KICU500XB $1.440 98 Z Z 2 2 0 N year of ownership. For more information and Ratings. Note that models within a brand may vary. The statistical model estimates failure rates for 3-year-old d 2 Viking VEC5366BSB $2.200 88 X Z 1 1 3 N N GE 4% c 6 Whirlpool G7CE3034XP $700 86 X Z 2 0 2 N Kenmore 3% c 7 Frigidaire FFEC3024LB $500 85 X Z 2 0 2 8 Thermador CES304FS $1. the element electronics at lower works with induc- heating stops.395 95 Z Z 2 2 0 N d 7 Whirlpool GCI3061XB $1. 30-INCH INDUCTION COOKTOPS a service contract.100 90 X Z 5 0 0 N N Because the electromagnetic to bring 6 quarts of water to a near What’s that noise? field doesn’t create a glow. d 4 Kenmore 43800 $1. If it strongly sticks. Differences of fewer than 5 points aren’t meaningful. 36-INCH SMOOTHTOPS Reliability Survey of 5.800 99 Z Z 3 1 0 N percentage of electric or gas cooktops we estimate will require repair or experience d 2 Kenmore 43820 $1. if you turn on an induction element by mistake with no pot on it. But your Dig out your dial thermometer and pans are induc- electric cooktop or range. induction elements usually heat and that heat will then transfer cooktop can interfere with a hold a magnet to quickly.080 93 Z Z 2 1 1 N electric and gas cooktops. MOST & LEAST RELIABLE BRANDS BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES PERCENTAGE LIKELY TO Rec. The magnetic field of an induction tion-compatible. and the sound of the tion cooktops.400 94 Z Z 2 0 2 N N Frigidaire 5% d 3 GE Profile PP9030SJSS $1. remove a pot from an element. the surface can an old-fashioned solution to a you’re good to go. Rank High Heat Low Heat High-Power Elements Medium-Power Elements Low-Power Elements Expandable Elements Touch Controls BREAK BY 3RD YEAR ELECTRIC COOKTOPS D.” you’re not sure Induction models use a standard smoothtop.200 97 Z Z 3 1 0 N d 5 Frigidaire FGIC3067MB $1. and often is louder at higher 30-INCH SMOOTHTOPS KitchenAid 8% d 1 KitchenAid KECC604BBL $900 94 Z Z 2 0 2 N Jenn-Air 7% d 2 Jenn-Air JEC4430BS $1. too. just like any other cleaning up spills easier. “A buzz or hum is common won’t know it’s on.

BUYING GUIDE | wall ovens

Wall Ovens

nlike a range, a wall oven can fordable options, especially compared Once again, we found that a high

U go wherever you want it: at
waist or eye level so that you
won’t have to bend to pull out
heavy pans, or even under a counter
or in an island or peninsula. And now
with pricey pro-style ranges.
Some manufacturers offer double
ovens; other options include electronic
touchpad controls, a self-cleaning
mode, a convection function, and
price doesn’t necessarily guarantee
top performance. Some of the more ex-
pensive models we tested scored only
Good in our baking or broiling tests. So
shop carefully, using our Ratings and
lower prices have made wall-oven and 24-, 27-, or 30-inch widths. Gas models reliability data as a guide. And remem-
cooktop combinations more affordable. are available, but most wall ovens, in- ber that you don’t necessarily have to
Although most combos will cost more cluding all of the models in our Ratings, choose the same brand for your wall
than a stand-alone range, there are af- are electric. oven and cooktop.


Side-swing and French doors.
The first is a single door with hinges on one side. Bosch’s 30” Benchmark single wall oven, $2,899, is
WHAT’S one example. French-door models like the GE CT907OSHSS , $3,900, pictured here, have two doors
that separate in the middle and open outward. Both types prevent you from having to reach over the
door to retrieve that 30-pound turkey. And the narrow door clearance of French-door models can be
a space saver in smaller kitchens.


Steps to Success
1 Wall ovens come in a range of widths: 24, 27, 30, and 36 inches. Consumer
Reports tests 30-inch-wide wall ovens, the most popular size. You’ll also find
single and double-oven styles. If you’re replacing one, it’s crucial that you
measure the wall oven and the cabinet cutout.

2 A majority of wall ovens are electric; they usually have a larger capacity than
similar gas models and don’t require a gas connection. But remember that
electric wall ovens need their own electrical circuit. No matter how your
new wall oven is fueled, be sure to have it professionally installed.

There was a time when choosing a wall oven over a range meant you had to
settle for a small oven without a self-cleaning feature. No longer. Manufac-
turers are finding ways to increase capacity. Of the single wall ovens we
tested, usable-capacity scores (which differ from the figure supplied by the
manufacturer) ranged from Fair to Excellent. The smallest in our tests was
about 2 cubic feet and the largest was more than 3 cubic feet.

A convection feature circulates heated air throughout the oven. That can
speed cooking, but you’ll usually pay about $250 more for the convenience
compared with a version without convection. Models that excelled at broiling
produced well-seared, evenly cooked burgers in our tests. If you’re an avid
MAYTAG baker, look for high scores in our baking tests.

Details That Count On the Market
ELECTRONIC TOUCHPAD SELF-CLEANING CYCLE Most wall ovens sold are 30-inch-wide electric
CONTROLS A special cycle removes spills and spatters models, and that’s what we test. They come
Setting and monitoring precise tempera- in electric and gas wall ovens. An automatic with single or double ovens. With a model in
tures are easier with a digital display. Touch- safety lock on high-temperature self- mind, check the manufacturer’s online manual
sensitive controls are available on some cleaning models prevents the oven door (or when shopping, read it at the store) to find
models. You’ll often find a control lockout from being opened until the oven has out the exact cutout dimensions.
that lets you disable them, an important fea- cooled. Some models have a countdown Some online user reviews complain that
ture in households where the control panel display that shows the amount of time a wall oven’s cooling fan can be noisy. Manu-
is within a curious child’s reach. left in the self-cleaning cycle. facturers’ websites explain what’s normal and
what’s not. Check before you buy.
One without a decorative grid allows a When you insert this electronic thermom- SINGLE WALL OVEN
clearer view of what’s inside, so that you can eter into your food, it displays the internal Make sure the controls are easy to see and
judge progress without opening the door. temperature on the oven’s control panel, reach. Consider side-swing and French-door
an easy way to know when the food is done. styles for easy accessibility.
A cover over the bottom baking element VARIABLE BROIL DOUBLE WALL OVEN
catches drips and spills. You won’t have to Most electric ovens have this feature, Having two ovens lets you prepare different
reach around the element to wipe the bot- which offers adjustable settings for food foods at different temperatures simultaneously.
tom of the oven, making cleanup easier. that needs slower or faster cooking. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 107

BUYING GUIDE | wall ovens

Our Ratings of dozens
of electric single and EXPERTS
double wall ovens
tell you how well “The Whirlpool
they bake, broil, and WOS92ECOAH single
c CR wall oven, $1,500, is
self-clean. You’ll also Best Buy
learn whether the right in the sweet spot
oven capacity is small of price and perfor-
or large, and what mance. Plus, since I
features, such as always seem to be in a
convection and remote rush when I’m cook-
control, are included. ing, I love that the
Given that the prices control panel is so
vary significantly, use A1 WHIRLPOOL WOS92EC0AH clean, clear, and
our Ratings to find $1,500 uncluttered.”
out as much as you —TARA CASAREGOLA,
can before you buy.
Recommended wall
ovens are top-scoring
and from reliable
brands. CR Best Buys
are recommended c CR
Best Buy
models that
combine impressive
performance and price.
$3,600 $2,430 WOS51EC0AS
This stylish French-door model This model is very good overall,
delivers impressive baking and impressive at baking, broiling, Though it lacks convection, this
broiling, and superb self- and self-cleaning. And it offers model is almost as capable as
cleaning, and you can control remote control of the oven func- its more expensive brandmate
oven functions from your smart- tions via your smartphone. above. It browned cakes and
phone. It has a touchpad for set- cookies evenly, was excellent
ting cooking time and two dials at turning out nicely broiled
for setting temp and mode. It burgers, and aced our tough
also has a convection option. self-cleaning tests.


The statistical model estimates fail- 10 Thermador ME301JS $2. choosing a brand with a good 13 Bosch HBLP451RUC $2. To evaluate oven capacity.900 55 C X X Z 30 N N N repair history can improve your odds of get- ting a reliable model.000 63 X X C X 30 N N N 7 GE JT3500SFSS $1.900 58 C X Z X 30 N How We Test: To test how evenly the ovens bake.430 73 X X X X 30 N N N Electrolux 12% Whirlpool c 4 WOS51EC0AS $1. we measure usable space.400 70 Z C C X 30 N N N Whirlpool 11% 7 Kenmore 49513 $1.Ratings MOST & Scores in context: Of the 25 wall ovens rated.) Covered Element Convection Mode Temperature Probe reliable. RELIABLE c CR Best Buy d Recommended BRANDS Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor In our survey of 4. SINGLE ELECTRIC WALL OVENS PERCENTAGE LIKELY TO BREAK BY 3RD YEAR Whirlpool c 1 WOS92EC0AH $1. But Kenmore and GE/ GE Monogram are significantly better than KitchenAid electric wall ovens. Differences of fewer 11 GE JT3000SFSS $1.300 72 X Z Z Z 30 N Bosch 11% 5 GE JT5000SFSS $1.500 51 C X X Z 30 N JENN-AIR B.350 80 X Z Z Z 30 N N d 2 GE PT9550SFSS $3. Recommended models offer top performance and don’t LEAST have brand-reliability issues. and design 12 $ And then it gets messy: We test the oven’s ability to remove a baked- on mix of cheese.700 63 X X C X 30 N N N ure rates for 3-year-old wall ovens by brand that were purchased new and not covered by a service contract.000 55 C Z C V 30 N N N or manufacture changes may affect future SO30-2F/S reliability. 44. pie illing. no brand stood out as the most or least Recommended Rank Baking Broiling Oven Capacity Self-Cleaning Width (In.600 76 X X X Z 30 N N N KitchenAid 14% d 3 GE PT9050SFSS $2.550 70 X X Z X 30 N N 5 LG LWD3010ST $2.099 66 X X C X 30 N N N Reports’ 2015 Summer Product Reliability Survey. we bake cakes and cookies on two oven racks.htm 109 . and other stuf on the self-cleaning setting.500 65 C Z X C 30 N N 6 Thermador ME302JS $4.000 68 X C C Z 30 N N GE 8% Electrolux Kenmore 7% 8 $2. CR Best Buys combine performance and value.100 66 X X C Z 30 N N N EW30EW55PS Source: Our findings are based on Consumer 9 Viking VESO5302SS $4.500 80 X Z Z Z 30 N N WALL OVENS d 2 GE CT9070SHSS $3. 14 Kenmore 48363 $2. DOUBLE ELECTRIC WALL OVENS Whirlpool d 1 WOD93EC0AS $2. A.800 70 X X Z X 30 N N Frigidaire 11% 6 Frigidaire Gallery FGEW3065PW $1.430 52 C X X X 30 N N N 15 Bosch HBL5351UC $1. Wolf E-Series Models within a brand may vary. eggs. For more information and Ratings. The performance of double wall ovens is based on the tested oven in the single electric wall-oven category.400 58 C X Z X 30 N than 6 percentage points are not meaningful. the lowest. Price is approximate retail. the highest scored 80.703 owners BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES of electric wall ovens. go to: ConsumerReports.350 73 X X X X 30 N N N d 3 Whirlpool WOD51EC0A $1. We broil a pan of burgers to ind out how evenly they brown and to check high-heat searing. Below are models in order of performance in each category.850 72 X Z Z Z 30 N 4 GE JT5500SFSS $2. Still.

110 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. That gives you working room while helping to prevent steam from escaping to the sides. Wash or replace the filters every one to Range hoods have become as stylish speed of heating. tests. three months—more often if as they are practical. Venting the hood to the outside is better but more complicated to install. noise. Some were quieter than the largest-sized solid. Some manufacturers offer hoods in finishes that match their ranges. it’s tempting to save space or choose from the lighter look of glass sure it’s installed according to S and cut costs by relying on the built-in ventilation of an over- the-counter (OTR) microwave. using the higher-powered stove or cooktop. Our recent minimize bends to maximize air- the smoke-capturing or fume-clearing tests of microwaves focused on cooking flow. ease of use. smooth- We no longer test range hoods. More airflow does mean faster venting. Vent range hood. But if you care about venting smoke and fumes. see our Ratings on page 116. LEFT: ALEX HAYDEN ovens we tested in the past could match in the showroom if you can. A wall or roof cap outside abilities of a good range hood. DON’T DOWNSIZE 2 This is one time when bigger often is better. And avoid downdraft hoods. The best hoods we tested in the the manufacturer’s directions— usually 18 to 30 inches above the burners or elements. For the results of those you cook frequently. BUYING GUIDE | range hoods Steps to Success DECIDE: VENTED 1 OR DUCT-FREE We do not recommend a ductless hood because it will take the smoke and odors and disperse them throughout the kitchen and the rest of the house. evenness. which have been unimpressive in our past tests. but others and better at delivering high and walled metal ducting that fits. Try those features Keep duct runs short. fumes. but it Range Hoods doesn’t guarantee better smoke capture and removal. you’re better off with a separate or an integrated look with a canopy matched to your cabinetry. Most now offer and venting. Manufacturer airflow claims tout CFM of air exhausted. Any hood you consider should be at least as wide as the cooking surface it will be installed above. and . prevents back drafts. if possible. automatic defrosting ability. the commercial look of stainless steel. especially if you cook on a past excelled at exhausting smoke and outdoors. be ure. Keep in mind that THERMADOR cubic feet per minute (CFM) isn’t everything. none of the over-the-range microwave low levels of lighting. INSTALL IT THE RIGHT VENTILATION WILL KEEP THE AIR IN YOUR KITCHEN CLEAR 3 PROPERLY Whether you opt for a hood or an OTR microwave oven.

The only concern is that the overhead vent hoods. soffit. so that extension and steam. Ductwork inside mended stove-to-hood clearance an adjoining wall. a shallow hood slides These work where there are no haust them through ducts running out of the upper kitchen cabinet cabinets over the range and mount beneath the floor. and the tri-level LED lights help illuminate the work surface. In a few WALL-CHIMNEY of rising smoke and fumes. But we do NUMBER OF FAN SPEEDS not recommend that feature because if you are We recommend a minimum of two speeds: a cooking with oil and your pan catches fire. On the Market UNDER-CABINET might be the only choice for those help funnel fumes. a $2. That feature is available faster ventilation. we believe it should just use a a period of time—so you can set it and forget it. The wall or cabinets alongside them to ductwork through the ceiling. Cooktops and ranges are popular options in kitchen islands. WHAT’S ZEPHYR NEW Low-profile Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 111 . It works with a wireless remote control. DOWNDRAFT ceiling can exhaust smoke and These try to reverse the direction fumes to the outside. Our past tests when you need it. necessary for sucking up smoke and odors. and ex- models. and perhaps making matters worse. a very low and very quiet setting to use after fanning it. If the manufacturer wants to provide more This convenient feature turns off the fan after ZEPHYR than three speeds. chase. Typical kitchen with exposed vent stacks on the found that they were among the cabinets extend only about halfway wall to vent to the outside. Any more than three set speeds are too EXHAUST TIMER many. More airflow means hood gets too high. Zephyr claims to solve the problem with its Details That Count Lux Island. design steals cabinet space but ConsumerReports. the high-speed setting to use when cooking and exhaust fan will come on. but it doesn’t guarantee better mainly on over-the-range microwaves and is smoke capture and removal in your kitchen. so they should These mount under the bottom who cannot achieve the recom. their Mounted to and vented through main application is in islands where cabinet faces and back toward the ductwork in the ceiling. or with a standard design. can block sight lines. of a wall cabinet. Though they can be routes steam and smoke away from ISLAND used anywhere in the kitchen. be wider than the cooking surface. Select a model at least as wide as the cooking variable speed switch that the user can easily surface underneath. hood features to keep in mind as you shop: THERMOSTAT CONTROL AIRFLOW A built-in temperature sensor automatically Manufacturers tout the cubic feet per minute turns on the fan if the temperature below the (CFM) of exhausted air. least effective at removing smoke across the stove.100 hood that mounts discreetly into the ceiling above the island. they lack a it might not be possible to route WOLF suction end of the range hood. intended to protect the microwave electronics from being damaged by high heat. These are some range set to any speed desired. adding air to the fire. cooking to continue to ventilate the space while eating.

Sharp promises a “fall off the bone” tenderness to meat dishes because the oven doesn’t rely on dry convection heat to reach roasting temperatures. modes. AMANA peed and smarts now go hand capability without having to add a wall brands push features aimed at busy S in hand as more microwaves have enough features to let them serve as second ovens. Its “SuperSteam” feature supposedly reaches 485° F. Many have sensors that automate cooking for more than just popcorn. File this under “interest- ing microwave alterna- tives. But as our tests have shown. Browning and speed-cook families. you can pay a premium for those perks without getting the even heating and defrosting that are a microwave’s two top tasks.500. More also oven or replace a range with a double- oven model.” For several years we’ve been testing built- in and countertop ovens that combine steam cooking with regular convection and have yet to find one that wows us. roast. and we’re intrigued by a new version from Sharp for $2. WHAT’S NEW Steam. VERSATILE. We’re looking forward to testing it. allowing you to grill. But the technology continues to evolve. or sauté a variety of foods. Our microwave Ratings also include convection and even slow-cook. AND EASY TO USE. are also on the menu as space by as much as 50 to 60 percent. along with interactive recipe show that some brands overstate usable ing options for people who want added databases. 112 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. BUYING GUIDE | microwave ovens Microwave Ovens THEY’RE NOT JUST FOR . You’ll find more automation as microwaves take on a growing list of tasks. THE BEST NEW MODELS ARE FAST.

Two other caveats: Some countertop microwaves can hang below a cabinet. But none of the microwaves we tested ConsumerReports. steaming. compact ovens. turntable with as half of the claimed interior space if overcooking or Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 113 . It’s easier to use than a dial. are for the oven heat your food evenly when you button more than once mul. it fits comfortably inside. won’t use. think twice about investing in shortcuts you may not use. and take your largest the need to worry about too large to rotate might casserole dish to the store to make sure A 1-MINUTE OR fit better on a sliding tray. but they don’t vent as well as a dedicated range hood and Details That Count Manufacturers are adding more programmed keys and other perks. keep food moving for uni- SENSOR form heating. so it’s a worthwhile function. Some replace the Certain models effectively deliver as little done. be sure to bring a large platter to the store to see whether it fits inside models on your KITCHENAID shopping list. from side to side and fits large plates. people who want a second can’t use the turntable. pasta. Most QUESTION SHORTCUT KEYS 3 It measures emitted steam microwaves have a rotating CAPACITY CLAIMS to determine when food is Many models now have auto turntable. or for keys you probably cooking time. But because manufacturers often include unusable space in their capacity claims. convection. That helps prevent settings for foods like grits. platter. 2 BE REALISTIC ABOUT EXTRAS Decide whether you’ll really use grilling POWER RATING Midsized and large ovens NUMERIC KEYPAD consistently provided the results you’d get from a regular oven or a grill. or are usually rated at 850 to Use it to set cooking other added functions before paying 1. It also allows quick Those features. Also consider 30-SECOND KEY just press the appropriate button. considering features. and dish once or twice during cooking to help ous settings. oven without having to remodel. and stews a rectangular tray that you use the included turntable or moving ing food and is an essential as well as for reheating or slides from side to side. those that allow you to turn the turntable whatever power level was AND BROWNING off when you’re using a large platter or selected.200 watts. Compact models can cost very little but usually offer the least cook- ing room.) tiplies the time extension. time and power settings. But a more cooking power. MULTIPLE RACKS you shouldn’t expect those features to More watts typically mean They let you cook several replace your range broiler or grill. Our tests have shown that about 600 to 800 watts. and browning features. That eliminates An elongated platter that’s measurements. extra for them. Pushing the speed cooking. but you’ll wind up with little working space below the oven. But even sensor is a convenient feature that helps a coffee mug is too tall for differences of 100 watts or VS. (You may want to pause to turn the adjustments to your previ. So check the Ratings for our feature. defrosting. But TURNTABLE foods at once. along with dish. remove a rack. some models unless you A microwave oven must food. broiling.Steps to Success 1 PICK A TYPE AND SIZE Countertop models cost the least and are best for kitchens with lots of counter space. maintaining GRILLING. oatmeal. And over- the-range models save counter space and add convenience. times and power levels. TRAY prevent overcooking and undercooking so don’t matter much. Midsized and large models add capacity and features. When usually require an electrician to install. Avoid paying extra models with a sliding tray that moves It extends the preset CONVECTION.

simply plug it into an ordinary outlet. stalled within custom cabinets or over counters is at a premium. MICROWAVES or vents. provided with over-the-range microwaves. models below a cabinet. built-in microwaves are in- especially in kitchens where counter space in some kitchens. within custom cabinetry. These models are best for kitchens with lots of kitchen is remodeled. about 3 square feet of counter space. though that often leaves Pros Over-the-range microwaves leave the coun. either over counters OVER-THE-RANGE Built-in models usually don’t have finished sides or in an island or wall unit. but more Cons Midsized and large models we tested take Often bought as a replacement or when a consumers are mounting them over a range. And no installation vent as well as a capable range hood. within custom cabinetry. adding to the models can be adapted as a built-in and installed features than a countertop model. though some (over-the-counter types) Often labeled as OTRs. Others models are mounted but flush with the bottom of flanking cabinets. Most micro. BUYING GUIDE | microwave ovens KITCHENAID LG SHARP On the Market You’ll find three major types. You can hang some countertop front burners. is needed. BUILT-IN MICROWAVES wave ovens still sit on a countertop. And even the best don’t than over-the-range models. a concern kitchen is remodeled. And they often have more lation may require an electrician. They can be vented to the Pros Built-ins keep counters clear and allow counter space and for cooks who use their range outside. these models are do have finished sides and work lights mounted COUNTERTOP MICROWAVES typically bought as a replacement or when a on the underside. which works better often and thus require the optimal venting of a dedicated range hood that extends over the at clearing smoke and fumes than the vent a range hood. and installation might Pros Countertop microwaves often cost less require an electrician. Some countertop ter workspace clear. 114 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z . overall cost. Cons They cost more. Cons They’re relatively expensive. and instal- little working space below. but don’t expect them to vent as well as you to have a range hood.

reheating leftovers. and a wire rack for less steel or a stainless-look other two GE models and has a bi-level cooking. But it was a bit noisy. and fast at additional functions like FROM “The Panasonic Inverter NN-H965BF is roomy and was especially efective heating. and is available in stain. 1. is impressive overall and was the provides very good heating ness and excellent defrosting. but it ing. It has It has detailed prompts. program. It has top-scoring GE models.9-cu.-ft. SENIOR TEST PROJECT LEADER OVER-THE-RANGE c CR Best Buy D1 GE PROFILE D2 GE JVM3160RFSS D3 GE JVM7195SFSS PVM9215SFSS Type OVER-THE-RANGE | $250 Type OVER-THE-RANGE | $400 Type OVER-THE-RANGE | $550 This 1.-ft. detailed prompts and a popcorn isn’t as quiet as they This 2.d LARGE COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDED MODELS Most of them did a respectable job of basic microwaving tasks like defrosting meat. a pop.200-watt model stainless-steel finish. and quietness.6-cu. geappliances.” ConsumerReports. ease of use. the same usable capacity as the corn program. is very good at defrosting and lots of presets. and heating Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 115 . convection and speed cooking. sensor and a child lock. fastest at heating of the three evenness and excellent geappliances. It’s easy to use and rela- tively quiet on the high setting. You’ll probably pay B1 PANASONIC INVERTER NN-H965BF more for an oven with B2 LG LCRT2010[ST] Type LARGE COUNTERTOP | $180 Type LARGE COUNTERTOP | $200 a larger capacity. lg. ease of use. and quietness. rank models by overall EXPERTS so it might not be the best pick if your kitchen is open to other areas.000-watt model This 1. —GINNY LUI.000-watt model offers very good heating even. 1. and making popcorn.-ft. finish option. a panasonic.1-cu.100-watt model This 2. 1. The sensor lets you know when food is ready. The Ratings OUR in defrost mode.

1 1100 5 Frigidaire FFCM1134L[S] $120 68 X Z C X X NA 0.4 1200 N 9 Kenmore Elite 74229 $180 70 X X X X Z NA 1.5 0.2 1100 N N N 21 Sharp Steamwave AX-1100S $500 51 X C C X C NA 0.7 1.1 1100 N 6 Panasonic Genius Prestige NN-SD681S $180 68 X Z X C Z NA 0.1 1000 N 18 GE Profile PEM31SFSS $320 53 V Z V Z Z NA 0. the highest scored 76. Price is approximate retail.6 1250 N N N 6 GE JES2051SN[SS] $250 72 X X X X Z NA 1.7 1 1000 N 28 RCA RMW1138 $80 42 C V V X X NA 0. Ft. the lowest.1 1000 N 29 GE Profile Spacemaker II PEM31DM[BB] $250 38 X B C X Z NA 0.8 1.7 1.) Watts Detailed Prompts Convection Mode Sensor Stainless/ A.5 2.5 1.1 2 1100 N N 8 Oster OGG61403 $120 71 X Z X X Z NA 0. Ease of use includes how easy it is to set the microwave without referring to the instructions. Below are high-scoring models in order of performance in each category. Speed of heating is based on the temperature rise of water heated. LARGE COUNTERTOP MICROWAVES d 1 Panasonic Inverter NN-H965BF $180 76 X Z X C Z NA 1.1 1000 11 Samsung MC11H6033CT $300 63 X X C X X NA 0. ease of use. and auto-defrosting ability.9 950 15 Sharp R331ZS $125 60 C X C X X NA 0.9 900 N 24 Breville Quick Touch BMO734XL $300 48 X V X X Z NA 0. the highest scored 81.5 1.7 1.2 1250 N N d 2 LG LCRT2010[ST] $200 75 X X X X Z NA 1.8 1. Recommended models offer top perfor- mance and don’t have brand-reliability concerns.6 0. CR Best Buys combine performance and value.9 900 N 27 Cuisinart CMW-100 $180 43 X V C X X NA 0. 38. Usable capacity is the usable space based on our measurements and excludes the corner spaces for models with rotating turntables.7 1.8 1.9 900 13 Haier HMC935SESS $90 61 X X C X X NA 0.5 1 800 N N B.2 2 1200 N N N 7 Maytag UMC5200BA[B] $270 72 X Z X X X NA 1. Defrosting evenness is based on how well the auto-defrost program defrosted a pound of frozen ground beef.1 1000 N N 20 Frigidaire FFCT1278L[S] $300 52 C X C C X NA 0.8 1 1000 N 10 Danby DMW111KBLDB $90 65 X X C X Z NA 0. Venting (airlow) is based on the volume of air drawn in by the OTR’s internal fan on the highest setting.6 1.9 1.7 1.6 0. BUYING GUIDE | microwave ovens Ratings Scores in context for countertops: Of the 73 models tested. But food might require extra tending and stirring.1 1000 N 8 General GEW1000E $350 66 X NA C Z X NA 0.2 1000 N N 26 Sharp R248BS $95 48 C C C Z Z NA 0.7 1. measured capacity approximates claimed. MIDSIZED COUNTERTOP MICROWAVES 1 Avanti MO1250TW $130 70 X X X X Z NA 0.1 1000 N 16 Cuisinart CMW-200 $250 57 X C C X X NA 0.7 1.2 1200 N 7 West Bend AG028PLV $110 67 X X C Z C NA 0.6 1 1150 N N 22 Magic Chef MCM1110ST $80 51 C C C Z Z NA 0.6 1.6 1.1 1000 N N 12 Oster OGB8903 $70 62 X X C X X NA 0. Ft. 36. (A few countertop models also ofer that feature.5 2.) Claimed Capacity (Cu.) With the rotation of. For over-the-range models: Of the 91 tested.3 2.5 0.1 800 N N 19 Samsung MG11H2020CT $160 53 X C C X X NA 0.2 1250 N N N 5 Panasonic NN-SE785S $290 73 X X Z X Z NA 0. c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES & SPECS SS-Look Option Recommended Rank Heating Defrosting Speed of Heating Microwaving Evenness Evenness Noise Ease of Use Venting (Airflow) Usable Capacity ( .2 2 1200 N N N d 3 GE Profile JES2251SJ[SS] $280 75 Z X X X Z NA 1.4 2.2 1100 N N N 25 Half Time AAC34-S $200 48 V Z V C X NA 0. 116 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.1 1000 N 23 Kenmore 73093 $90 50 C C C Z Z NA 0.5 0. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.2 1000 N N 17 LG LCSP1110[ST] $230 57 C Z C X C NA 0.2 1100 N N 4 Kenmore 66227 [Item # 1345111] (Kmart) $105 68 C Z C X X NA 0.6 1.2 1200 N N N 4 Panasonic NN-SD975S $250 74 C X X X Z NA 1.1 1000 N 3 Kenmore 72123 $150 68 X X C Z Z NA 0. Heating evenness relects how evenly a model reheated a dish of cold mashed potatoes.6 1.6 1.9 900 N 14 Panasonic Prestige NN-SD372S $140 60 C Z C X X NA 0.2 1000 2 LG LCS1112ST $140 68 X Z X X Z NA 0.8 1 1000 N 9 Summit SCM1000SS $250 66 X NA X X X NA 0. Microwaving noise relects how quiet the oven is while microwaving on high. Note that most over-the-range models allow you to turn of the rotation to it large dishes.8 1.2 1200 N N How We Test: Score is based mainly on evenness of heating. the lowest.7 1.

2 1250 N N 31 Danby DMW14SA1BDB $150 61 C C C Z Z NA 0.5 900 N N N N 30 Panasonic Genius Prestige NN-SE982S $300 63 X X X C X NA 1.2 1250 N N 12 KitchenAid KCMS2255BSS $540 69 X C X X Z NA 1.3 1000 N 36 Sharp R409YV $130 57 C X C Z C NA 0.6 1200 N N 39 Toastmaster TM-141EM $120 53 C X C X Z NA 0. BUILT-IN COUNTERTOP MICROWAVES 1 Sharp SuperSteam Oven AX-1200[K] $900 57 X X V C X NA 1 1. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES & SPECS SS-Look Option Recommended Rank Heating Defrosting Speed of Heating Microwaving Ease of Use Usable Evenness Evenness Noise Venting (Airflow) Capacity (Cu.5 2.4 1100 N 40 Samsung MG14H3020CN $230 52 X C C X X NA 0.2 1100 N N 23 Frigidaire FFCE2278L[S] $190 65 X Z X C C NA 1.7 1.9 1.2 1200 N N 14 GE Profile PEB7226SFSS $330 67 X X C X Z NA 1.2 1000 N N N d 5 Amana AMV6502RES $300 71 X X X Z Z C 0.9 2 1000 N N N 8 Samsung ME21F707MJT $500 68 X Z C C Z X 0.4 1100 N 32 Magic Chef MCD1311ST $130 61 X C C Z X NA Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 117 .3 2.6 1100 N N N 38 Whirlpool WMC30516A[S] $210 56 C C X X X NA 0.3 2.4 1100 N 35 Emerson MW1337SB $110 59 C Z C X Z NA 0.) Watts Detailed Prompts Convection Mode Sensor Stainless/ B.2 1.4 950 N N 41 Haier MWM13110G[SS] $105 50 C C C X X NA 0.9 1. LARGE COUNTERTOP MICROWAVES continued 10 Frigidaire Gallery FGMO205K[F] $320 69 X X X X X NA 1.3 1100 N 33 LG LCS1410[SW] $170 60 X C X C X NA 0.6 1250 N N N 29 Sharp R930CS $530 63 C X C Z C NA 1.5 1100 N N 27 Frigidaire FFCE1439LB $150 63 X X C X X NA 0.9 2 1000 N N N 6 Whirlpool WMH53520CS $350 70 X Z C Z Z C 0.1 700 N N N 2 Sharp SM-D3070AS $1.9 1.9 1.4 1200 N N 34 LG LCS1413SB $170 60 C X C X Z NA 0.2 1250 N N N 18 LG LCRT1510SV $190 67 C X X X X NA 0.2 2 1200 N N N 11 Panasonic NN-SN973S $190 69 X C X X X NA 1.9 1.6 1100 N 22 Sharp R651ZS $180 65 C X C X X NA 1.8 1100 N 26 LG LCRT1513ST $150 63 C Z X X X NA 0.9 2 1000 N N N 7 LG LMV2031ST $300 70 C Z C X Z X 0.6 1100 N N 17 Panasonic Prestige NN-SD997[S] $280 67 X C X X Z NA 1.9 1100 N N N d 4 LG LMH2235ST $450 74 X Z C Z Z C 0.2 1200 N N 13 Whirlpool WMC50522AWS $270 69 X C X X Z NA 1.9 2.5 1100 N N N D.9 1. Ft.4 2.6 1250 N N 20 Sharp R551ZS $160 66 C X C X Z NA 1.2 1200 N N N 24 Electrolux EI24MO45IB $470 64 X C C C X NA 1.7 1.9 1.9 1.1 1.9 2.6 1.3 2.2 2 1100 N N 25 Magic Chef MCD1811ST $140 64 C X X Z X NA 1.9 1. Ft.7 1.9 1.1 1.4 1100 N 28 Panasonic Inverter NN-SD797[S] $200 63 X X X C Z NA 0.1 1.8 1100 N N 21 Magic Chef MCD1611ST $140 66 X Z X C X NA 1.3 2.9 1.3 1000 N C.1 1.5 1200 N N N 19 Panasonic NN-SN773S $205 66 C C X X X NA 0.5 1100 N N N N 16 Kenmore 73163 $170 67 X X C X Z NA 0.9 1.7 1.1 1000 N N N c 2 GE JVM3160RFSS $250 79 X Z C Z Z X 0.3 2.2 1000 N N N 3 Sharp Carousel R-1214 $380 46 X V X X Z NA 0.3 2.6 1000 N N d 3 GE JVM7195SFSS $400 76 X Z X X Z X 0.9 1.3 1000 N 37 Frigidaire FFCE1638L[S] $150 57 X C C X X NA 0. OVER-THE-RANGE MICROWAVES d 1 GE Profile PVM9215SFSS $550 81 X Z C Z Z X 0.9 2.9 1.2 1100 N N N 15 Panasonic Inverter NN-CD989[S] $650 67 C Z C X X NA 1.9 1.1 1000 N N N ConsumerReports.1 1.100 52 V C C X X NA 1.) Claimed Capacity (Cu.

5 1000 N 35 Dacor Discovery PCOR30S $ .8 1050 N N N N 11 GE AVM4160DFBS $250 67 X Z X Z Z C 0.9 2 1000 N 31 GE JVM1740SP[SS] $280 61 X X C Z Z C 0.9 1.7 1000 N N N 57 Hotpoint RVM5160RHSS $230 54 X C C Z Z X 0.8 1.9 1200 N N N N 40 Maytag MMV6190DS $550 59 C X C Z Z C 0.7 950 N N N N 55 Bosch 500 Series HMV5052U $500 54 C Z X X Z V 1 2.8 1.6 1000 N N 39 KitchenAid KMHP519ESS $1.6 1000 45 Kenmore 80349 $350 58 X X C Z Z V 0.1 1100 N N N 22 GE PVM9005SJSS $500 62 X C X Z Z X 1 2.8 1.1 1000 N N N 26 LG LMH2016[ST] $300 62 X Z X Z Z V 0.8 1.6 1000 N N 58 LG LMV1683[ST] $270 54 C Z C C Z C 0.8 1.7 1000 N N N N 47 Electrolux IQ-Touch EI30SM55JS $650 57 X Z C X Z V 1 2 1000 N N 48 LG LMV1831ST $300 56 X Z C X Z V 0.8 1000 N N 49 GE Profile Advantium PSA1201R[SS] $950 56 X X C Z Z C 0.9 1000 N N N N 41 Samsung Chef Collection ME21H9900AS $600 59 C Z C C Z V 1 2.) Watts Detailed Prompts Convection Mode Sensor Stainless/ D.6 1000 N N c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor 118 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.8 1.9 1.6 950 N N 34 Amana AMV1150VA[B] $190 60 X X C Z Z C 0.000 59 X C X Z Z C 0.8 2. Ft.) Claimed Capacity (Cu.8 1.7 1.7 1000 N N N 28 Kenmore 80353 $570 61 X X X Z Z V 0.9 1000 N N N N 54 Samsung MC17F808KDT $540 55 X X C X Z V 0.1 1000 N N N 20 Electrolux Icon E30MH65QPS $900 64 C Z X Z Z C 0.1 1000 N N N 42 KitchenAid KHHC2090S[SS] $1.8 1.8 1100 N N N 17 Whirlpool Gold WMH76719CS $550 65 X X C Z Z C 0. BUYING GUIDE | microwave ovens BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES & SPECS Recommended Rank Heating Defrosting Speed of Heating Microwaving Ease of Use SS-Look Option Evenness Evenness Noise Venting (Airflow) Usable Capacity (Cu.8 1000 N N N 53 Jenn-Air JMV9196CS $1.8 1. OVER-THE-RANGE MICROWAVES continued 9 Electrolux IQ-Touch EI30BM60MS $630 67 X Z C Z Z C 0.37 $250 60 X Z C X Z C 0.6 850 N 38 Kenmore 80323 $260 59 X Z C Z Z V 0.1 1100 N N 56 Whirlpool WMH32517AS $320 54 C Z C C Z V 0.8 1.7 1000 N N 32 Electrolux EI30BM55H[S] $700 60 C Z C X Z C 1 2 1000 N N N 33 Ikea Framtid 501.8 1.8 1050 N N N N 21 Whirlpool WMH73521CS $450 63 C Z C Z Z C 0.6 1000 N N 12 Samsung SMH2117[S] $500 67 X X C X Z X 0.100 59 Z C X X X C 1.8 1000 N N N 52 Maytag MMV6186W[S] $680 55 X X C X Z C 0.8 1.9 2 1100 N N N 19 Maytag MMV5219DS $400 64 C C C Z Z C 1.1 1000 N N N 13 KitchenAid KMHS120ESS $540 67 Z Z C Z Z C 1 2 1000 N N N 14 Maytag MMV4205DS $350 67 X Z C Z Z C 1 2 1000 N N N 15 Frigidaire Gallery FGMV174K[M] $350 65 X X C X Z X 0.000 55 X X C Z Z V 0.8 1000 N N 51 Bosch 800 Series HMV8052U $700 55 C Z X Z Z V 0.8 1050 N N N N 10 Kenmore Elite 80373 $700 67 X Z X Z Z V 0.1 850 N N N N 37 Samsung SMH1622[S] $170 60 C X C X X X 0.8 1.1 1050 N N N 23 Samsung ME20H705MSS $400 62 X Z C X Z C 1 2 1000 N N N 24 Bosch 300 Series HMV3052U $400 62 X Z X Z Z C 0.9 2.8 1.9 1.2 2.8 1.9 1.6 1000 N 25 Samsung ME21H706MQS $450 62 X Z C X Z C 1 2.7 925 N N N N 50 Samsung ME18H704SFS $250 55 C Z X X Z C 0.9 1. Ft.9 1.8 1.9 1100 N N N N 18 LG LMHM2017[SW] $450 65 Z Z X Z Z V 0.7 1.9 1.7 1.423.7 1000 N N 16 LG LMV1813[SW] $300 65 X Z X Z X C 0.8 1.1 2 1200 N N N N 43 Frigidaire Gallery FGMV175QF $360 58 C Z C Z Z C 0.8 1.8 2 1100 N N N 27 Kenmore 80339 $300 61 X Z C Z Z V 0.7 1000 N N N 46 GE Profile PVM1790SR[SS] $600 57 X X X X X C 0.1 1100 N N N 29 Samsung ME179KFET[SR] $600 61 X X C X Z C 0.1 850 N N N N 36 Fisher & Paykel CMOH30SS $750 60 X Z C X X V 0.7 1000 N N N 44 Haier HMV1640AHW $230 58 C C X Z Z X 0.270 60 X Z C X X V 0.8 1.8 1.7 950 N 30 Maytag MMV4203W[B] $280 61 X Z C C Z C 0.9 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.

042 owners of over-the-range microwaves.5 900 N N N N 75 Jenn-Air JMV8208WS $750 49 C X C C X C 1.7 1000 77 Maytag MMV1164[W] $210 49 C X C C Z V 1.5 1000 N N N MOST & LEAST RELIABLE BRANDS PERCENTAGE REPAIRED OR Source: Our findings are based on Consumer HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS Reports’ 2014 Product Reliability Survey of 37.7 950 N N N 81 Jenn-Air JMV9186W[S] $900 47 X C C X Z V 0.9 1000 N N N N 66 Hotpoint RVM1535DM[WW] $190 51 C X X X X V 0.9 1000 N N N 62 Haier HMV1652AHS $280 53 C C C X Z X 0.9 1.8 1 950 N N N 91 Sharp R-1514 $330 36 C V C Z Z V 0.8 1000 N N N N 82 Frigidaire FFMV154CL[S] $450 47 C C C Z X V 0.7 1. but they don’t Samsung 16% differ meaningfully from the repair rates of Frigidaire.) Watts Detailed Prompts Convection Mode Sensor Stainless/ D.7 1.5 900 N N N N 89 Magic Chef MCO160UBF $250 42 X V C C X C 0.8 1.1 850 N N N N 72 Maytag MMV5208W[W] $320 50 C C C X X V 1.7 1.6 1.7 1000 N N N 71 Viking VMOR205[SS] $1. Ft.8 1.6 1000 N N 84 Frigidaire FFMV152CLB $400 46 C C V Z Z V 0.1 850 N N N 86 Samsung ME16H702SES $250 44 C C X C Z V 0.9 1.8 1. go to: ConsumerReports.8 1000 N N N N 79 Sharp R-1405 $220 48 X X C Z X V 0.7 1.7 1.9 1.7 1.7 1000 N N 74 Electrolux IQ-Touch EI30SM35QS $600 49 C X C Z Z V 0.8 1.6 1000 N 87 Frigidaire Professional FPBM189K[F] $480 44 C X C C X V 1 2 1000 N N N 88 Frigidaire Gallery FGMV154CL[F] $480 43 C C C Z X V 0.8 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.5 900 N N N N 61 Samsung SMH1926[S] (Lowe’s) $360 53 X X X X Z V 0. Ft.7 1000 N N N 60 Kenmore Elite 80363 $630 54 X X C Z Z V 0.6 1000 N 78 KitchenAid KHMC1857W[SS] $650 49 C X C X Z V 0.9 2 1000 N N 68 Frigidaire FFMV162L[S] $250 50 X X C X X V 0. Kenmore 7% Frigidaire 7% AMANA Maytag 6% Whirlpool 6% For more information and Ratings. Each figure represents the percentage of over-the- GE 8% range microwaves that were repaired or had a serious problem.5 900 65 KitchenAid KMHC319ESS $770 52 X C C Z Z C 1 1.9 1.8 1.2 2 1000 N N 73 Samsung ME17H703SHS $300 49 X X X X Z V 0.5 950 N N N 70 Amana AMV2175VAS $290 50 C Z C X Z V 0.300 50 X X C X X V 0.6 1000 N N 63 Sharp R-1875T $500 53 X Z C X Z V 0.htm 119 .4 2 1000 N N N 76 Whirlpool WMH31017A[S] $250 49 C X C C X V 0. Differences of fewer than KitchenAid 8% 5 points aren’t meaningful.6 1000 N 90 Bertazzoni Professional Series KO30PROX $700 38 C V C Z X V 0. OVER-THE-RANGE MICROWAVES continued 59 GE JVM1750DP[BB] $280 54 X X X C X C 0.8 1. Kenmore.5 900 N N 83 Magic Chef MCO165UB $170 46 C X C C X V 0. or GE. Note LG 9% that models within a brand may vary.5 950 N 67 KitchenAid KHMS2040BSS $520 51 C X C X Z C 0. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES & SPECS Recommended Rank Heating Defrosting Speed of Heating Microwaving Ease of Use SS-Look Option Evenness Evenness Noise Venting (Airflow) Usable Capacity (Cu.4 950 N 80 LG LMVH1711[ST] $550 47 C X C C X V 0.9 1.) Claimed Capacity (Cu.7 1. Whirlpool and Maytag have the lowest repair rates. Samsung is the most repair-prone brand OTR MICROWAVES of OTR microwaves. KitchenAid.9 1.8 1.5 900 N 85 Sharp R-1871 $600 45 X C C X Z V 0.6 1000 N 69 Viking D3 Series RDMOR200SS $650 50 X X C Z Z V 0.1 850 N N 64 Frigidaire MWV150K[W] $190 52 X C C X Z C 0.8 1.

load 10 place settings slathered with the of energy and water dishwashers get a load of some of your options. let them sit overnight. we ask more of a dish. TIP If your dishwasher will be across from an island or a run of cabinets. caked-on residue is a challenging adversary for just about any dishwasher. baked-on. then run them through a normal cycle using the high- temperature option (if it’s available). tially saving you hundreds of dollars washer than you probably ever will—we Tougher rules have slashed the amount over the life of the appliance. egg yolk. We can use and still get the government’s B berry jam: What do these differ- ent foods have in common? Their dried-on. measure to be sure there will be adequate clearance when the door is open. USING LESS WATER AND ENERGY reakfast cereal. on average. BUYING GUIDE | dishwashers Dishwashers THE LATEST MODELS GET YOUR DISHES CLEANER. Energy Star . Our listening panel evaluates how noisy each model is. Here. 5 percent more energy efficient and 15 percent more water efficient than standard models. poten- In our tests. aforementioned stubborn foods. AMANA 120 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. We also check energy efficiency. rasp. Dishwashers that qualify for the Energy Star designation are.

other short items. you’ll always know when your average of the other dishwashers in our dishwasher is running. plus an adjustable upper out dirtier. a third rack for large utensils and most dishwashers costing $500 or more The $1. So measure your space and ask the seller for the full height range (and allow extra for the leveling feet). a window. but the usual touchpads are fine top-notch. 5 Some dishwashers have interactive touch controls. also comes with end of the cycle. a self-cleaning filter. But there’s more to like: A motorized Prerinsing can even make your dishes come KDTM804ESS. Both is needed. which allow for fitting in large or You can watch your bread bake and tests. a sold in the past five years or so have a M804ESS is the first dishwasher we’ve stainless interior. among the hardest to dry. and plenty of flatware slots. water to get everything Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 121 . not cleaner. running time of many movies. rack. about 25 minutes shorter than the quieter. LOOK FOR CONVENIENCE. If controls are seem long. ConsumerReports. One complaint: This KitchenAid odd-shaped dishes and other dinnerware. you ready to watch your dishes wash? That’s what KitchenAid is envisioning with its introduction of the KitchenAid So you might be towel-drying during the closing credits. but it’s dishwashers becoming quieter and look for cycle-time and other visible displays. 3 Dishwashers that score well in our Ratings for ease of use usually have adjustable racks and lots of flatware slots. roughly comparable to the in your dishwasher. With the better invisible when the dishwasher door is closed. tines. 2 All about good looks? Then opt for a cabinet- front dishwasher. Many also have fold-down A view of the action. your popcorn pop through the windows dishwasher was only mediocre at drying in your kitchen appliances but are plastic items.800 KitchenAid KDT. you know the ending—there’s another benefit to having a window if they’re clearly marked. they accommodate panels that blend in with your cabinets. That might your dishes get doused—and to be fair. and utensils get sprayed and KitchenAid dishwashers also have the sensor checks how dirty the water is to dried. interior lighting that comes on at the determine the proper amount of time and enAid KDTM384ESS. sensor that determines how thorough a wash seen that puts on a show as your dishes. this model takes only 110 minutes to complete a normal cycle. the Kitch. the KitchenAid KDTM704ESS was tional TV or online movies rather than CHECK THE CONTROLS. Some midpriced dishwashers have third racks that let you lay down large utensils or short cups.) For washing and energy Even if you prefer to watch tradi- use. (A lower-end model. 4 All of our top picks clean well enough for you to skip the prerinse before loading. changing the height of the cavity. glasses. Fitting in your new dishwasher could be a challenge if you’ve tiled the floor or re-done your counters. In addition to easy operation. RECONSIDER YOUR HABITS. a sleek dishwasher with spray arm. 1 Conventional dishwashers are intended for a cavity measuring 24x24 inches. adjustable tines. MATCH YOUR DÉCOR. WHAT’S NEW Steps to Success Remember these tips when you shop for a new dishwasher CHECK THE DIMENSIONS. The reason is that a big window in the door. At the initial rinse of the cycle.

and some recalcitrant). but they average with many newer models also including "quick" the sound level of an entire cycle (including or "express" cycles that clean lightly soiled loads the—silent—dry cycle). The adjust. be re-deposited on clean dishes. newer models have hybrid stainless/plastic tubs. Caveat: Manufacturers cycles: light. Some newer models designate a certain part of the dishwasher for heavily soiled items needing HIDDEN TOUCHPAD CONTROLS a special cycle. It's quieter. but also your electric bill. steam clean. Certain models better cleaning for dishes. we found no correlation between time and performance). better than light-colored plastic. Some models instead have a Some dishwashers sound like an airplane land- filter without a grinder. tines you can china/crystal. a job range from 90 minutes to about three hours that takes a few minutes. go an extra step with. A sanitizing and organize the contents. which can be misleading. Those devices are option that raises water temperature above the handy when you cook for a crowd. RINSE/HOLD CYCLE HEATED DRY It lets you rinse dirty dishes when you're not Budget-priced dishwashers typically dry in the quite ready to start a full cycle (rather than few hours after a cycle using drainage and the letting stubborn food mess get even more residual heat in the tub. (by the way. espresso). stainless steel tends to resist staining especially for small portions of the rack to fit slightly taller items. In our labs. The downside: You typically can't see cycle progress at a glance. These zones don't always run Controls mounted along the top edge of the door the for the whole cycle. strictly about style. cleaning filters. Some have only an types: self-cleaning and manual. they seem to (that are hidden when the door is closed) are work as promised. WHIRLPOOL 122 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. which can be annoying when wash cycles to clean it periodically to avoid iffy smells. a grinder pulverizes the debris and flushes it down the drain. for example. Here are the best of the bunch. may display a decibel rating. and silverware and stemware holders let three basic cycles should be enough for most you reconfigure the interior of the dishwasher chores—even for baked-on food. These options increase WASH ZONES convenience. pot-scrubber. often. This adjusts the cycle's time and water use to than most people keep a dishwasher. That's convenient QUIET PERFORMANCE but can be noisy. You’ll These keep wash water free of food that could know when the machine is running . Pay a premium it’’s meant to disinfect the dishwasher interior. heating element—perhaps coupled with a fan to circulate the air. Partially FILTERS hidden controls are a good compromise. and can help typical 140 degrees F doesn't necessarily deliver fit large and oddly shaped items. normal. and heavy (pots and pans). Any plastic tub should last longer haven’t impressed. Pay more. Some the load's soil level. soak/scrub. The KitchenAid SPECIAL WASH CYCLES KDTE254ESS (shown) got an “excellent” score Most dishwashers come with at least three for noise in our tests. improving efficiency. A few models let you raise or lower models. and you're likely to get a STAINLESS-STEEL TUB Dishwasher drawers third rack for large utensils and small cups (think Typically available in mid-priced and higher-end can add flexibility. BUYING GUIDE | dishwashers Details That Count DCS Convenience features will make your dishwasher easier to load and to use. indicator light that tells you the dishwasher is on. But the plastic tubs help camouflage stains and trim the ones we’ve tested SOIL SENSORS overall cost. upper racks you can adjust single-handedly. ADJUSTABLE (OR EXTRA) in as little as 20 minutes. There are two the remaining cycle time. Gray-speckled households. if it lasts long enough. or sanitizing cycles as well. but you need ing. With self. Racks that move up and down. TIP for your dishwasher. This perk can reduce odors and will either heat the water further during the final prevent soil from setting while you stack up rinse (to warm up the stainless tub) or use a enough dirty dishes for a full load. Some offer single- RACKS AND LOADING AIDS rack.

On the lower end. On the flip side. Hidden controls and a cycle-time display add style and convenience. premium models tend to be quieter and have ample flatware slots. They typically cost up to $600. On the Market Aside from how they perform in our tests. HIGH-END DISHWASHERS At roughly $700-plus . which resists stains better than plastic. KITCHENAID BUDGET DISHWASHERS In general. if you opt for a model at a modest price point. They typically include two small. Some clean nearly as well as premium-priced dishwash- ers. Many high-end dishwashers have a stainless-steel tub. dishwashers cost from about $250 to $600. stacked drawers that you can use simultaneously or separately. you might consider dishwasher drawers. DISHWASHER DRAWERS For new construction or a complete kitchen renovation. of course. and fewer convenience features. limiting how much you can wash at once. features. But they can be expensive. Compared to dishwashers with doors.200. and. and you may still get adjustable racks and a soil sensor. the drawers are easier to load. cost. dishwashers difer in type. budget dishwashers tend to be noisier than upscale versions and have fewer flexible-loading options to accommo- date oversize items. and other flexible-loading features. folding tines. Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 123 . Capacity is relatively small. and the models we’ve tested haven’t per- formed as well overall as budget-priced conventional dishwashers. Prices for high-end models can soar to around $2. you’ll get more performance than glitz.

a stainless-steel. a motorized spray arm that and we judged it very good for all around—with the exception start feature. but some high- scoring models in this report have those perks and cost less. and time- performance. and they SHX3AR7[5]UC is excellent come in stainless steel. This dishwasher has lots of formance./4 GAL. In addition to top-notch per. blocking the arm’s rotation. others. self-cleaning. It is also especially ener. heavy. bottle-wash option. motorized that reverses direction should . (Unlike It also has delayed start. With its dishwasher by passing 95-minute Normal cycle. Pluses tion is a motorized spray arm duty or pots-and-pans the arm’s remaining display. for its wash performance They also use far less and energy eiciency. The dishwashers 2 KENMORE ELITE 12793 3 KITCHENAID 4 KENMORE ELITE 14833 included here are very Cycle time/water usage KDTM704ESS Cycle time/water usage good or excellent 145 MIN. 6 BOSCH ASCENTA SHX3AR7[5]UC features designed to Cycle time/water usage 95 MIN. blocking gy. lighted rack can be adjusted using only upper rack. steel interior and an adjustable third 124 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. on the hidden controls it’s quicker than most and stainless-steel tub. this model is than washing dishes half the price of many by hand. this model offers This model aced our wash test. reverses direction if a utensil noise. features and fine performance and most have a timed./5 GAL. water and energy At $700.and water-efficient. You’ll save other recommended money on your new dishwashers. ample Other pluses include fairly quiet rank models by overall other models we’ve seen.) kitchenaid. an adjustable running./4 GAL.500 110 MIN. interior. the flatware slots. and a lighted interior. | $ kenmore. a utensil fall through the racks. improve loading and bosch-home. and self-cleaning other pluses include a stainless wash arm. BUYING GUIDE | dishwashers d DISHWASHERS RECOMMENDED FROM MODELS c CR OUR EXPERTS Best Buy Almost all of the models we tested clean well and are The Bosch Ascenta easy to TEST PROJECT LEADER washing performance will also add to the price. and brands of dishwashers. among the more reliable adjustable racks. | $700 —LARRY CIUFO. | $1. filters. One attrac- falls through the racks.200 Cycle time/water usage 115 MIN.620 overall performers. The Ratings upper rack and tines./4 GAL. kenmore. of mediocre drying. | $1. The model’s include a soil sensor. and adjustable tines. and Bosch is Targeted spray jets. one hand.

500 81 Z C Z Z C 140 N N N Stainless Steel N 8 Thermador Topaz Series DWHD640JFM $1. as well as how much water is used per cycle.100 80 Z C Z Z X 145 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 15 Kenmore Elite 14753 $1. Noise is judged by a listening panel during ill. And we manipulate the adjustable tines and racks to see how easy they are to Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 125 . 34. We measure energy use.400 78 Z Z Z X X 150 N N N All Stainless Steel N 27 Kenmore 13693 $600 78 Z Z Z C X 160 N N Some Stainless Steel N 28 Kenmore 13223 $500 77 Z Z Z C X 160 N N Stainless Steel N 29 Blomberg DWT55500SS $900 77 Z C Z C X 115 N N N All Stainless Steel N 30 Viking 300 Series FDW300 $1. the highest scored 85. ConsumerReports.300 78 X Z Z X X 130 N N N All Stainless Steel N 25 KitchenAid Architect Series II KDTE554CSS $1. we slather 10 place settings with a variety of foods and let the dishes sit in the machine overnight.) Ample F Adjustable Upper Rack Sensor Self-Cleaning filter Hidden Controls Interior Material SS-Look Option Stainless/ CONVENTIONAL DISHWASHERS d 1 KitchenAid KDTM354DSS $1. wash.600 78 Z X Z X C 145 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 26 Miele Futura Crystal G6165SCVISF $1.000 77 X X Z C X 145 N N N All Stainless Steel N 32 GE GDT580SSFSS $600 76 Z Z Z X X 155 N N N All Stainless Steel N 33 Thermador DWHD651JFP $2.200 80 Z C Z X X 110 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N 14 KitchenAid KDTE254ESS $1. most of which goes to heating the water.080 85 Z Z Z X X 125 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N d 2 Kenmore Elite 12793 $1.200 85 Z C Z Z X 145 N N N Some Stainless Steel N d 3 KitchenAid KDTM704ESS $1.200 75 Z C Z Z X 130 N N N All Stainless Steel N 35 KitchenAid KDTE104ESS $600 75 X C Z X X 135 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 36 Kenmore 13209 $450 75 Z Z Z C X 155 N N N Plastic 37 Bosch 300 Series SHP53U55UC $720 75 Z C Z X X 160 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 38 Bosch 800 Plus Series SHE9PT55UC $1. and drain. Then we run a normal cycle.500 78 Z C Z X X 140 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 21 Blomberg DWT54100SS $750 78 Z C Z C X 85 N N N All Stainless Steel N 22 Maytag MDB8979SEZ $850 78 Z X X X Z 155 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N 23 Miele Futura Classic Plus G4925US $1.620 83 Z C Z X X 110 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N d 4 Kenmore Elite 14833 $1.500 80 Z Z X Z X 125 N N N All Stainless Steel N 9 Bosch 800 Plus Series SHX7PT55UC $1.100 77 Z C Z C X 115 N N N All Stainless Steel N 31 GE Café CDT725SSFSS $1.Ratings Scores in context: Of the 181 dishwashers we tested.500 82 Z C Z X X 115 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N d 5 Kenmore Elite 14763 $1. using the high-temperature option if available. The machine is loaded according to instructions in the owner’s manual. the lowest.300 80 Z Z Z X X 125 N N N All Stainless Steel N 10 Kenmore Elite 14793 $900 80 Z C Z X X 145 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 11 Bosch 500 Series SHP65T55UC $900 80 Z Z Z X X 125 N N N All Stainless Steel N 12 Bosch 300 Series DLX SHX53TL5UC $850 80 Z Z Z C X 125 N N N All Stainless Steel N 13 KitchenAid KDTM404ESS $1.000 78 Z X Z X X 150 N N N Stainless Steel N 24 Thermador Emerald Series DWHD440MFM $1.200 76 X Z X X X 120 N N N All Stainless Steel N 34 Bosch 800 Series SHXN8U55UC $1.100 80 Z C Z X X 145 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 16 Bosch 800 Series SHE68T55UC $950 79 Z Z Z X X 125 N N N Stainless Steel N 17 GE Profile PDT750SSFSS $1.950 75 X Z Z Z X 130 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 39 Whirlpool WDT720PADM $380 75 Z Z Z X X 155 N N N All Plastic N How We Test: In our washing tests.100 79 Z C Z X X 140 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 18 Blomberg DWT55300SS $850 79 Z Z Z C X 130 N N N All Stainless Steel N 19 Viking 100 Series FDW101 $800 79 Z Z Z C X 130 N N N All Stainless Steel N 20 GE Profile PDT760SSFSS $1. c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Recommended Rank Washing Energy Use Ease of Use latware Slots Drying Noise Cycle Time (min.000 82 Z C Z X X 115 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N c 6 Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR7[5]UC $700 81 Z X Z X X 95 N N N All Stainless/Plastic N d 7 KitchenAid KDFE454CSS $1.

600 66 X V Z X C 155 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 69 Haier HDBL865ATS $850 66 X V Z C X 120 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 70 Frigidaire Professional FPID2497RF $700 66 Z V X X X 135 N N All Stainless Steel N 71 Scholtes LFDS3XL60HZ $1.500 69 Z C Z X X 165 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 60 Maytag MDB4949SDM $450 69 Z Z X C X 170 N N N N Stainless Steel N 61 Jenn-Air TriFecta JDB9200CWS $1. BUYING GUIDE | dishwashers BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Recommended Rank latware Slots Washing Energy Use Drying Noise Ease of Use Cycle Time (min.800 73 Z Z X X X 155 N N N All Stainless Steel N 48 Kenmore 13473 $500 73 Z Z Z C C 160 N N Some Plastic N 49 GE GDT680SSHSS $700 73 Z C Z C X 155 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 50 GE GDT545PSJSS $400 73 Z C Z C X 150 N N N Some Plastic N 51 Amana ADB1700ADS $500 72 Z C Z C C 145 N Stainless Steel N 52 GE GDT635HSJSS $700 72 X C Z C X 155 N N N Some Stainless/Plastic N 53 LG LDS5540ST $580 71 X C X X Z 145 N N N N Stainless Steel N 54 Dacor Renaissance RDW24S $1.800 74 X C Z Z X 150 N N N All Stainless Steel N 44 GE GDT590SSJSS $700 74 Z C Z C X 155 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 45 Samsung Chef Collection DW80H9970US $1.300 62 X V Z C C 115 N N Some Stainless Steel N 78 Frigidaire FFBD2406NW $270 60 X C X C C 125 N Plastic 79 Frigidaire FFBD2411NS $280 60 X C X C C 130 N Plastic N 80 Frigidaire FFID2423RS $380 60 X V X C C 120 N N All Plastic N 81 Electrolux Wave-Touch EW24ID80QS $980 60 Z X X X X 200 N N N Stainless Steel N 82 Electrolux Wave-Touch EWDW6505G[S] $1.200 59 X V X X Z 135 N N N N All Stainless Steel N c CR Best Buy d Recommended Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor 126 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports.450 74 Z C Z X X 155 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 46 Bosch 800 Series SHX78U55UC $900 74 Z Z Z X X 160 N N N All Stainless Steel N 47 Miele Futura Lumen G6595SCViK2O $1.700 71 Z C X C X 150 N All Stainless Steel N 55 Bosch 300 Series DLX SHS63VL5UC $720 71 Z V Z X X 125 N N N All Stainless Steel N 56 Whirlpool WDT920SADM $720 70 X C Z X X 160 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 57 Jenn-Air TriFecta JDB9000CWS $1.) Ample F Adjustable Upper Rack Sensor Self-Cleaning filter Hidden SS-Look Option Controls Interior Material Stainless/ CONVENTIONAL DISHWASHERS continued 40 LG LDS5040ST $500 75 X Z X X X 110 N N N N Stainless Steel N 41 Samsung DW80F800UWS $800 75 Z Z X X Z 140 N N N N All Stainless Steel N 42 Bosch 500 Series SHE65U55UC $850 74 Z X Z X X 160 N N N None Stainless Steel N 43 GE Monogram ZDT870SPFSS $1.100 62 X V Z C C 115 N N N Stainless Steel N 76 Smeg ST8646XU $1.400 69 Z V Z X X 140 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 62 Bosch Ascenta SHX5AV55UC $630 68 Z V Z X X 120 N N N All Plastic N 63 LG LDF8874ST $800 67 X C X X X 150 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 64 Whirlpool WDT780SAEM $500 67 Z V Z C X 155 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 65 Samsung DW80J3020US $400 67 Z V X X C 145 N N N Stainless Steel N 66 Whirlpool WDF540PADM $550 66 Z Z Z C C 115 N N Plastic N 67 Haier HDBL655AFS $725 66 X V Z C X 115 N N N Stainless Steel N 68 Jenn-Air TriFecta JDB9800CWS $1.100 62 Z B Z C X 100 N N All Stainless Steel N 77 Asko XXL Series D5636XXLSHI $1.200 70 Z V Z X X 140 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 58 Maytag MDB8969SDM $720 70 Z Z X C Z 170 N N N N Some Stainless Steel N 59 GE Monogram ZDT800SSFSS $1.400 66 X C Z X X 105 N N N All Stainless Steel N 72 Frigidaire Gallery FGBD2445N[F] $550 65 X X X C X 120 N N N Plastic N 73 Samsung DW80J7550US $700 65 Z V X Z X 195 N N N All Stainless Steel N 74 Amana ADB1500ADS $450 64 Z V Z C C 140 N Some Plastic N 75 Asko XL Series D5436XLS $ .

choosing a brand with a items like wine glasses items as platters and 11 for our top picks. to towel and using a mild load large items in a way avoid cutting yourself dish detergent. face down.100 59 X V Z X C 125 N N All Stainless Steel N 84 Frigidaire Gallery FGID2474QF $600 58 Z B X X X 120 N N N All Stainless Steel N 85 Frigidaire Gallery FGCD2456QF $750 58 Z B X X X 120 N N N Stainless Steel N 86 Summit DW2433SSX $625 58 Z B Z C C 145 N N N Stainless Steel N 87 Electrolux IQ-Touch EI24ID30QS $800 58 Z B X C X 120 N N N All Stainless Steel N 88 Electrolux IQ-Touch EI24ID50QS $900 57 Z B X C X 120 N N N All Stainless Steel N 89 Frigidaire Gallery FGBD2438PF $450 57 X C X C V 130 Plastic N 90 LG LDF7774ST $700 57 X C X X X 140 N N N Some Stainless Steel N 91 Samsung DW80J9945US $900 56 X B X Z X 195 N N N All Stainless Steel N 92 Frigidaire Gallery FGBD2434PF $400 55 X C X C V 125 Plastic N 93 Amana ADB1100AWW $250 54 X C X V V 160 Plastic 94 Electrolux Icon EDW7505HP[S] $1. If you’re items with baked-on dishwasher between 2010 we found Bosch and Whirlpool to sink until the water washing sauce pans or food face down and be among the more reliable brands of dishwashers. BRAND & MODEL PRICE SCORE TEST RESULTS FEATURES Recommended Rank Washing Energy Use Ease of Use latware Slots Drying Noise Cycle Time (min. china and porcelain by KitchenAid 18% GE 13% DO Check the location but place knives with lining the sink with a Frigidaire 16% Whirlpool 10% of your water jets then their handles up. good repair history can improve your odds of getting a reliable model. data to eliminate differences linked solely to the dishwasher’s age and coverage by an extended warranty or service contract. don’t allow it to can handle the food glasses. serving bowls. And to OR HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS DON’T water from pooling keep china from chip. breakage and to keep in the machine. Models within a brand may vary. Place In our survey of more than 70. wood.000 readers who bought a faucet on the kitchen ting the roof). and we’ve adjusted the for dishwasher-safe rack for plates and from Consumer Re. DON’T put brass. For more information and Ratings. That prevents the DO Rest glasses on bronze. handles facing down. See page in design or manufacturer may affect future reliability. Still. as you remove them. the prongs to prevent or china with gold leaf PERCENTAGE REPAIRED ing with cold water. go to: ConsumerReports. mixing bowls put them toward the spray arm. touch other items.500 54 C V X X Z 125 N N N N All Stainless Steel N 95 GE GDF510PSJSS $480 52 X X X C V 205 N Plastic N 96 Whirlpool WDF110PABW $380 51 X C X V V 160 Plastic 97 GE GSD3301JWW $360 49 X V Z V V 110 N Plastic 98 Haier DWL3225SD[SS] $500 45 C V X C C 120 N N N N Stainless Steel N 99 Haier DWL7075MC[SS] $750 44 C V C C C 120 N N N N All Stainless Steel N 100 Fagor LFA75IT $700 43 C C Z V C 135 N N N All Stainless Steel N 101 Frigidaire FBD2400KS $280 34 C B Z V V 90 Plastic N Dishwasher Dos and Don’ts MOST & LEAST RELIABLE BRANDS DO Run the hot water (if they fit without hit. cast-iron. LG 18% Miele 13% leftover food is usually spoons with the washing your fine enough.) Ample F Adjustable Upper Rack Sensor Self-Cleaning filter Hidden SS-Look Option Controls Interior Material Stainless/ CONVENTIONAL DISHWASHERS continued 83 Jenn-Air JDB3200AW[W] $1. is the most repair-prone brand of dishwasher and KitchenAid ing the dishwasher. wash cycle from start. Samsung 24% Kenmore 14% detritus. and changes plastics and delicate saucers and such large ports’ tests.000 readers who had purchased a dishwasher between 2010 DO Use the top rack DO Use the bottom dishwasher detergent and 2014. DO Use a top-rated Source: Our findings are based on Consumer Reports’ 2014 Annual Product Reliability Survey of more than 70. Maytag 15% Bosch 9% that doesn’t block them. and LG are among the more repair-prone brands. Differences of less than 3 points aren’t meaningful.htm 127 . Scraping off DO Load forks and DO Consider hand. Samsung gets hot before start. DISHWASHERS Today’s dishwashers in the stems of wine ping.

sinks with polished or glossy surfaces we left a hot pot in them. any better than thinner versions. so we arranged showed scratches and stains more than sinks fared better. the thicker the steel. (The lower the gauge. dropped objects. And sinks didn’t chip. or a fireclay sink. Here’s what else those with matte or brushed finishes. BUYING GUIDE | sinks AMERICAN STANDARD Sinks THE BEST MODELS WILL STAND UP TO YEARS OF DISH DUTY—AND LOOK GREAT DOING IT ood news: Our tests found our Ratings by material. You can add color to your kitchen with a solid surface. For months we stained. The acrylic with lightweight acrylic and . G impressive sinks at all 23-gauge stainless steel sinks. We tested 18. an acrylic. We compared thick stainless steel with our tough tests revealed: Finish matters more than thickness. an enameled steel. But almost all were dam- aged in our tests.) We found that expensive. and heavy cast iron thicker-gauge stainless didn’t hold up our toughest drop tests. Fireclay cracked after thinner versions. and put hot pots in 18 double-bowl sinks. an enameled cast iron. but they melted when We found that the manufacturer mat. scoured. 128 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Solid-surface tered less than material.

If you’re buying a new faucet for an existing sink or vice versa. Most ofer convenient optional accessories kitchen faucets come with a lifetime warranty like racks and that covers leaks and stains. 2 COUNT THE HOLES Most kitchen sinks come with mounting holes drilled for faucets. Similar materials performed similarly across brands. so we based our evaluations of sinks entirely on materials. BLANCO a Z KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE 129 . But if you have cutting boards. ConsumerReports. Steps to Success 1 FOCUS ON THE MATERIAL Our tests showed that the material is more important than the manufacturer. making AMERICAN STANDARD for simpler maintenance. you’ll need to match the hardware to the number and spacing of the holes in the sink. You can install a base plate to cover an extra hole in the sink or countertop. It will be up to you to install it. 3 THINK AHEAD Replacing a faucet and sink together is easier EXTRA HELP because the faucet can be mounted in the sink Some sinks now or counter before the sink is put in place. CLEAN LINES Undermount sinks eliminate a grime-catching raised lip. but don’t try to drill new holes in an existing countertop. the manufacturer will give you just the replacement part.

never with wood counters. and budget FARMHOUSE Also known as apron-front. But a topmount sink can detract from the look of a beautiful countertop and grime can build up around the lip of the sink. Note that the narrower sections of a double-bowl sink FRANKE may not fit large pots. Topmount sinks work with any countertop material and are relatively simple to install. But undermounted sinks are more expensive to buy and install. BUYING GUIDE | sinks On the Market Match the style of sink to your space. and stainless steel versions can work well with modern . and should be used with a waterproof countertop. and water can drip on and damage the cabinet. Double-bowl sinks are handy because they let you per- form two tasks—soaking and rinsing—at the same time. so they’re a good choice for a tight budget. A rectangular shape is most common. the sink is dropped in above the counter with the lip overlapping the countertop. This stylish choice can provide a traditional or country kitch- en look. but D-shaped sinks with a curved back are available. 130 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. needs. cookie sheets. farmhouse sinks usually have a deep single bowl with the faucet installed in the countertop or wall. BLANCO TOPMOUNT Also called drop-in and self-rimming. or roasting pans. so you can wipe spills and crumbs from the countertop directly into the sink. DOUBLE BOWL Double-bowl sinks have a partition that separates them into two sections. Undermount sinks provide a sleek look and easier cleanup because they sit slightly below the surface of the counter. But trough sinks are expensive and more fun than functional. KOHLER undermounted sinks are raised into place from below. TROUGH These are best for use as prep or bar sinks. from 8 to 14 inches wide and up to 50 inches long. UNDERMOUNT Rather than being lowered onto the counter. and there’s no lip or crevice to catch dirt. They’re narrow and long. But they’re expensive and require a special cabinet.

How We Test: Score summarizes performance in Scores among brands were similar. Damaged enamel can cause the metal underneath to rust. Abrasion relects resistance to damage from nylon and metal Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor scouring pads. Acrylic sinks might look like enamel. scouring pads. Enameled cast iron chipped when we dropped a sharp. KOHLER Ratings Scores in context: Of the six sink materials we tested. dropped weights. which is why we list only material Ratings. which Stainless Steel $100-$600 83 Z Z Z C Z C is why the scores of materials may vary. Heat gauges resistance to damage from Stains Abrasion Sharp Impact Blunt Impact Heat Noise a pot illed with oil and heated to 400° F. and stains. less expensive enameled steel).htm 131 . the highest scored 83. Our hot pot test didn’t damage them. but is there ever a day when than any other type.MATERIALS MATTER STAINLESS More people buy stainless steel kitchen sinks You may not cook every day. double-bowl sinks from major manufacturers to a barrage We also listened to the noise made by running of hot pots. Stains shows resistance to 15 common foods and cleaning products. Price is Solid Surfacing $200-$500 80 Z Z C Z V Z approximate retail. SOLID SURFACE Made of polyester or acrylic resins combined with mineral fillers. all the thicker the steel. Those with matte finishes showed fewer scratches than their polished counterparts. light object—similar to a knife—damaged solid-surface sinks. solid-surface sinks can be paired with counters made of the same material for a seamless look. Impact shows resistance to damage MATERIAL PRICE SCORE RESISTS from sharp and blunt objects dropped from up to 20 inches. Enameled Steel $100-$350 77 X Z Z V Z X Enameled Cast Iron $150-$450 74 C Z V Z Z X Acrylic $75-$200 71 Z X Z Z B C Fireclay $550-$800 66 Z Z V B Z C For more information and Ratings. are available in many colors and are easy to clean. Noise is based on sound transmission from a stream of water and the impact of a sharp metal object. water and dropped weights. and sinks with sound-absorbing pads on the exterior bottom and sides were quieter than those with a spray coating. but they scratch more easily and heat can be damaging. high heat and dropping a sharp. go to: ConsumerReports. Our tests for sink and countertop materials are 23-gauge you don’t use your sink? We subjected more than 20 sinks. We found that the The results of our sinks tests: gauge had little to do with performance. the lowest. 66. but when we dropped a 5-pound weight—similar to dropping a heavy pot—enameled steel sinks chipped or cracked. the lower the gauge. sold in two versions (enameled cast iron or lighter. In our tests. light object—similar to a knife—on them. ENAMEL These sinks. We tested 18.

Delta Faucet’s Touch2O. They combine spray head and spout for added convenience and flex- ibility. a popular style. it’s convenient to be able to turn on the tap without smearing it in the process. and bronze. pictured here. stain. 132 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. Most faucets also come with lifetime warranties (for the original buyer) that why the faucets aren’t rated. which caught our eye when it was introduced earlier this year. resisted our best attempts at scratch- Our tests found few performance You’ll find a range of finish options ing them. making them easier to activate. cleaner can stain them slightly. and that’s on the market. or check out American Standard’s new Beale Faucet. but manufacturers have improved their sensors. but corrosives such as drain differences between brands. Hands-free technology has been available in the kitchen for several years. eaky faucets could be a thing of why our advice is based on finish and less. We tested single-handle pullout faucets. too. or PVD. but our findings apply to other of some faucets are bombarded with charged metal atoms that chemically bond to the surface of the base metal in a process called physical vapor deposition. with top-notch valves and tough finishes now common on all but the cheapest models. WHAT’S NEW Hands-free technology. and Kohler’s Response lines. brass. BUYING GUIDE | faucets Faucets PICK A FAUCET WITH A DURABLE FINISH AND FEATURES THAT MAKE CLEANUP EASY. including chrome. Look for Moen’s MotionSense. faucet . Those finishes cover defects and even finishes. HERE’S HOW. The exterior L the past. When your hands are covered in a sticky or greasy mess.

make sure the sink. SINGLE HANDLE TWO HANDLES Move the handle to one side or the other for hot This traditional setup has separate hot and cold or cold. SPRAY/STREAM SELECTOR need to move the faucet to fit a big Finger-friendly buttons on the side of the spray pot under it. which SELECTOR ⊲ can affect durability and function. spout are often inexpensive. Straight-spout faucets are compact all corners of the sink. But if you’re buying a new sink and faucet. install.Steps to Details That Count SPRAY/ Success STREAM Consider these features. go to: ConsumerReports. Note that the hose should be long 3 PICK A SPOUT STYLE the faucet head swivels far enough to reach into enough to reach all corners of the sink. a counterweight helps the hose you set even after you turn the water of and on. For more information and Ratings. Without the PVD finish. Gooseneck faucets provide and spout retract neatly. PVD finishes resisted our ⊳ FINISH best attempts at scratching them. Two-handle faucets Though faucets with a straight have handles for hot and cold water. finishes. more clearance but can cause splashing in a in handy when rinsing vegetables and rinsing shallow sink. they’re the handles are part of the base plate compact. head on a hose. hands—you can't just use your wrist or forearm Cons They may not allow quite as precise to maneuver the handle. and take up less space on the countertop and twisting the handle usually requires free than two-handle faucets. The process involves SPOUT ⊲ you have or get a base plate to cover bombarding the faucet with charged SHAPE any extra holes. KOHLER temperature selection. The buttons should stay in the mode splashing if your sink is shallow. Pros Single-handle faucets are easier to use and Cons Two handles are harder to use than one. Whatever you choose. or midway to mix. FINISH 1 COUNT THE HOLES Most sinks come with mounting holes drilled for faucets.htm 133 . On the Market There are two main types of faucets. come with the faucet and can also be producing a variety of metallic used to cover holes in your counter. popular finish—is quite durable. but you might wide or double-bowl sink. handle faucet. Chrome—another holes in an existing sink or countertop. faucet with a spout on a hose that can be pulled Pros Two handles may allow slightly more out from the faucet head so that you can spray precise temperature adjustments than a single- the sink or fill a pot on the counter. your choice may be limited to the configuration of your current sink and/or counter. A sprayer can be it. and the swivel the faucet to one side to fit a big pot under it. A pullout spout comes sprayer is usually separate. but a heavy-duty scouring pad can scratch ONE HANDLE OR TWO? 2 Single-handle faucets are easier to use and install. Do not try to drill additional stain them slightly. consider the pros and cons of each type. If you’re keeping Tough finishes are common on all but the cheapest kitchen faucets. especially if you have a and often inexpensive. bronze was the least resistant to abrasion. part of the faucet spout or part of SPOUT SHAPE the faucet deck. Some cooks prefer a handles to the left and right of the faucet. Gooseneck models have PULLOUT SPOUT head let you switch between spray and stream higher clearances but can cause The spout pulls out of the single-handle faucet functions. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is ⊳ PULLOUT SPOUT your sink. you’ll need to match what the but top if that’s where your faucet will be corrosives such as drain cleaner can installed. If you are replacing an older faucet. The base plate may metal atoms that bond to the surface. so you might need to or are separately mounted.

134 . Here's what else we checked it out at a walk-in store first— H may sell the most large ap- pliances in the U. AND SERVICE TIP: About one in three shoppers who bought a major appliance online ome Depot.000 large and small appliances. before shopping. Lowe’s. Stores Far fewer chose a store specifically for its selection. Only a small percentage of those shoppers complained about seeing few brands or models when they CONSUMER REPORTS’ SURVEY TELLS WHICH RETAILERS OFFER went to a walk-in retailer. but they aren’t necessarily customer favorites. some regional TIP: Shoppers who successfully hag- chains.. lower: See whether you can buy a floor SUITE DEAL? Picking the best-value appliances from different manufacturers can cost less than a package deal. Online a winning tactic from a Facebook fol- including warehouse. Some retailers offer “meet or beat” price policies. BUYING GUIDE | appliance stores Best Appliance SELECTION AND SERVICE VARY A fair number of major-appliance shoppers went to a retailer because it stocked a particular brand or model. before buying online said it helped pliances and $40 on small ones. Stores may also sweeten the deal in other about their overall satisfaction based cific retailer. PRICE. Many of our respondents ways. and independent retailers TIP: Most shoppers who checked prices gled usually saved $100 on major ap- got good marks from our readers. In our most recent survey. and coupons and email offers also helped.S. them find a better deal overall. big-box. and Sears department stores. Here’s who shopped at a variety of places. THE BEST COMBINATION OF SELECTION. But don’t rule out walk-in stores when it comes to buying. A Chicago-area store. on average. Consumer Reports subscribers told us learned from our survey: PRICE GETS YOU IN THE DOOR Low prices and sales were the top reasons people bought from a spe- and then saved $68. 32. including offering such perks as on their experiences buying more than searched price-comparison websites free shipping and installation. But we don’t generally recom. 5 4 3 2 1 Better Worse mend buying extended warranties. – – – – 3 Costco 90 Z B X Z X warranty period often cost about the – – – – – 4 Nebraska Furniture Mart 89 X Z Z X same as the warranty. And a majority of subscribers Ratings who bought a major appliance said the Scores in context: We surveyed more than 21. a score of 80 indicates “very satisied.C. the score would be 100. Diferences of fewer than 4 points aren’t LG meaningful.htm 135 . For more information and Ratings.500 major and small appliances from January 2013 through June 2014.” on average. RETAILER SCORE SURVEY RESULTS Order Price Selection Product Quality In-Store Service Checkout Ease Web Support Shipping/ Delivery Installation Haul-Away TIP: Eighty-five percent of our large- appliance shoppers were encouraged to buy an extended warranty. a chain in the New York area.000 readers about their experiences retailer at least suggested they buy one. among small-appliance retailers. followed by 1 Abt Electronics & Appliances 94 X Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Sears and HHGregg. Instead. go to: ConsumerReports. Here’s how the retailers measured up. AND SMALL APPLIANCES Abt Electronics & Appliances tops Consumer Reports’ most SKIP EXTENDED WARRANTIES Getting hit with a sales pitch to get you recent Ratings of major-appliance retailers. as does Amazon to buy an extended warranty at check. installation. and haul-away waived. check 5 Lowe’s 88 X C X C X C X X Z our brand-reliability data in the Buying 6 Pacific Sales 87 C X X X X C X C X Guide section starting on page 46. out has been a top annoyance in past 94 X Z Z – Z Z Z – – 2 Williams-Sonoma 93 C C Z X Z X – – – 3 Ace Hardware 93 C C Z Z Z – – – – 4 Costco 92 Z B X B X C – – – 5 QVC 92 X C X – Z Z Z – – 6 Independent local stores 90 C C Z Z Z C Z – – 7 Kohl’s 89 X C X V X C X – – 8 Bed Bath & Beyond 89 C C X C X C – – – 9 Macy’s 88 X C X V C C – – – 10 Sam’s Club 86 X B X B C B – – – 11 Lowe’s 86 C V X V C C X – – 12 Home Depot 85 C V X V C C X – – 13 Target 85 C V C B C V – – – 14 Best Buy 84 C V C V C C – – – 15 Kmart 84 X B C B V – – – – 16 Sears 83 C V C V C C X – – 17 Walmart 79 C V C B V B X – – How We Test: Score represents overall satisfaction with the retail experience. Richard & Son. If all respondents were completely satisied with a particular retailer. P. But our research 2 Independent local stores 90 C X X Z Z C Z Z Z shows that repairs during the extended. And try to get fees for shipping. About a quarter of major-appliance buy- ers did.model or one that’s slightly blemished BEST PLACES TO BUY LARGE for less. 7 Home Depot 86 X C X C X C X X Z 8 Best Buy 86 X C X C X C X X Z 9 P. purchasing almost 32. A dash (–) indicates there was an insuicient sample size for analysis. MAJOR APPLIANCES proved to be the pushiest. Richard & Son 86 X X X X X C X X Z 10 HHGregg 84 C X X X X C X X Z 11 Sears 83 C C X C C C X C X SMALL APPLIANCES 1 Amazon.

Montagna Wood Room Design by Elizabeth Low Weathered Gray 6 bottom middle. Haier. x 24 48: Burke Cheney for Deane INTERIOR PAINT 7: bottom left. Liselotte Kragh of Abita Studio. mycountertopshoppe. finelycrafted. benjaminmoore. aidandesign. 25: Studio Tim DCS. The Countertop Shoppe. Benjamin Moore. americanstandard-us. Porcelain 23: Dillon Kyle Designs. 22: Styled by Sunday Hendrickson and 63: Home Depot. OPENER Frigidaire. Merillat. thermador. Aiden 39: bottom left and right. madelinestuart. ikea. bottom right. and Blake Farrow Project. BOLD IN BLACK & WHITE morganharrisonhome. mgbwhome. modifyatl. vikingrange. Resources 8 SMART KITCHEN UPGRADES 57: Madeline left. Falotico Associates and styled by Jeanee renewaldesignbuild. dacor. Bertazzoni. by Kristen Ware SINKS & FAUCETS INSTANT MAKEOVER American Standard. geappliances. UPDATE BlueStar. . Masterbrand. Zephyr. LG. 30: Mitchell Gold-Bob Williams. MAJOR APPLIANCES 34: The New Old House Company. Vern Yip inset 56: Meriwether Botellos. top right. samsung. zephyronline. brooksandfalotico. Kohler. BUYING GUIDE. tadhellmann. bottom Dacor. lynnmorgandesign. tichenorandthorp. kenmore. jennair. Whirlpool. Franke. 41: right. 17: Brooks & com and Tichenor & Thorp 26-29: Project by Modify Design/Build. 49: Morgan Harrison Home. Photographer: Eric Roth cambriausa. 136 KITCHEN PLANNING & BUYING GUIDE Z ConsumerReports. 66-67: Benjamin Moore. 69: Clark + Kensington. subzero-wolf. Jenn-Air. Gonterman Construction. thenewoldhouseco. amana. Countertops: 50: Ikea. Fisher. OPEN FOR ENTERTAINING kraftmaid. and Lynn Morgan Design. Architecture & Designer Builders: Main Street at Design. Dillon Kyle Architects. frigidaire. 32: Renewal Design Build. Floor and Wall 39: 18-21: Cabinets: Omega Cabinetry. 53: Dunaway. Photographer: David COUNTERTOPS 54: Cambria Bellingham Countertop COVER from Waterstone and Cindy Lynn Blanco. GE. Lighting: Capri Drum 51: top left and middle. Cheryl Kees Clendenon. gontermanconstruction. meriwetherinc. abitastudio. and Architectural Design thepaintstudio. Cambria Natural Stone FLOORING 60-61: Cecily Mendell of Cecy J COZY IN COLOR Interiors. Fisher & Paykel. DOUBLE THE PLEASURE benjaminmoore. cambriausa. 38: Farrow Arcaro Design. 16. 46-47: Viking. Tad Hellmann Design. Pendant and London Pendant from the Vern Yip Collection for Stonegate merillat. whirlpool. Massachusetts. Kenmore. CABINETS indetailinteriors. Lynda KitchenAid.

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